1-888-DISSENT

1-888-DISSENT, is a curated show of audio-based artwork. In keeping within our tradition of unique exhibition spaces and public access to contemporary artwork, 1-888-DISSENT will presented via a toll free telephone number and a voice mail system. The audience will be able to call 1-888-DISSENT and navigate a voice mail system in order to hear up to 20 sound sculptures, experimental musical compositions and text based pieces. This show will consist of local and national talent who will be selected through juried proposals.1-888-DISSENT will be the first major exhibit of audio-based artwork in the city of Philadelphia.
Dissentia believes that the combination of audio-based artwork, the use of the telephone as a conduit and an exhibition space that exists within a voice mail system will make a unique and vital art event. Audio-based artwork is a difficult art form to fully appreciate in a traditional gallery setting, the work demands many things from a listener: a setting where there is no other noise interference, uninterrupted attention and specific lengths of time to fully hear the piece. The telephone is a perfect conduit for audio-based work, it is a private space which will allow intimate contact with the artwork. The telephone will also allow access to the show at any time of day and wherever a listener chooses to hear the work. The use of a voice mail system is not just a convenient tool for transmitting the artwork, it is a tool that is analogous with corporate information and technical support services and the least likely place to find and art exhibition. By utilizing a voice mail system as an exhibition space, 1-888-DISSENT will take a familiar setting and transform it into a surprising, critical and unique art forum.
Dissentia's past shows have been produced solely by the curators and on minimal or non-existent budget. 1-888-DISSENT will require technical equipment outside of our means, thus, the 5 county arts fund will help cover the cost of a PC voice mail system, the purchasing of a toll free telephone number, printing, mailing and administrative costs.

The first step in realizing 1-888-DISSENT is placing ads soliciting proposals from nationwide artists in various print and on-line art magazines. Once the proposals are received we will be jurying the work with the assistance of a curator more familiar with audio-based artwork. As the voice mail system is being prepared and tested our publicity campaign will begin with the contact of the local and national media. The street level publicity, which will include the use of posters, stickers, local news coverage and the potential of advertisements on buses and trains, will begin approximately two weeks prior to our launch date. The anticipated date for opening 1-888-DISSENT is April 2003.

Various components of the voice mail system will allow us to measure the success of our project. We will be able to log the number of calls received by 1-888-DISSENT and will be providing a feedback mailbox on the system. Along with audio feedback, the system will direct listeners to our website www.dissentia.com in order for them to leave contact information.
Contemporary art has the potential to inspire, enlighten and motivate the public. If access to new and challenging art is limited to just galleries and museums, a critical part of the general public will not be able to have that experience. Public Art exists to fill this void, however, new and challenging practices of art have a difficult time being placed in that realm. By examining the potentials of non-traditional exhibition spaces, Dissentia is looking to broaden the definition of Public Art.


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