(1994 – 1996)

Curatorial project for Avatar, Québec. It began as an exhibition on an answering machine and a radio program on Radio Canada in 1994. It was released on CD by Ohm éditions/Avatar in 1996.

Related project:

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An event connecting artists creating for the telephone space.

Compressed telephonics, the Bell noise gating of distance, anonymity as safe intimacy, chats & gossip, calling card frauds, forgotten messages, answering machines with only questions.

Rappel, little known branch of Bell, concerns itself with the compressed sound of telephony, the static of far away discourse, the telephone breaths of a familiar overseas, of anonymity as tactic towards intimacy, of gossip nets, of phone cards without phones, of messages without messengers. Rappel supports all numbers with no address, all addresses with no numbers, persisent eavesdroppers, answering machines who can think up lies. Rappel has offices almost everywhere, just call the wrong number, or place a quarter in the ear of a stranger. All our agents will be glad to help you hang up.

Participating artists: Daniel Leduc, Pierre-André Arcand, Algojo) (Algojo, Sylvia Wang, Doyon/Demers, Jean Routhier, Christof Migone, Chantal Dumas, Kathy Kennedy, Gregory Whitehead.


The Wire (January 1998), reviews of Hole in the Head, Rappel, Radio Folie Culture

Revue et Corrigée (June 1998), France, reviews of Hole in the Head, Rappel, and Radio Folie Culture CDs

ND Magazine (No. 20 Summer 1997), review by J.F.
Compilation of telephone related sound works by Christof Migone, Daniel Leduc, Sylvia Wang, Algojo)(Algojo, Pierre-André Arcand, Chantal Dumas, Kathy Kennedy, Jean Routhier, Gregory Whitehead and Doyon/Demers. There’s a lot of French speak here, making me ill equipped to understand or judge these pieces, but I’ll mention that they tend to remind me of the works by some of these same artists on Nonsequitur’s Radius compilations. Here they dwell on the sounds and mysteries of the telephone world rather than the possibilities of radio art (lots of beeps, busy signals, answering machine messages, etc.) to pretty interesting effect.

Exclaim! (September 1997), reviews of Hole in the Head, Rappel, Radio Folie Culture CDs by Richard Moule.
That Quebec has always had a strong tradition in electronic and electro-acoustic music is a given; what continues to surprise is the wealth, depth and scope of the work being created. The Quebec label OHM/Avatar seems interested in exploring sound sources and found sounds. At its core, OHM/Avatar seems to be following the esteemed traditions of people like John Cage, Pierre Schaeffer, Brion Gysin, and more recently Robin Rimbaud’s project, Scanner and Panasonic, in creating musique concrete and sound collages. Radio Folie/Culture uses samples from field recordings of nature, radio or random conversations and matches them with industrial noises that are carefully constructed to form sound pieces. If Radio Folie Culture‘s pieces serve as aural snapshots of fleeting real world moments, making the ordinary seem extraordinary, Rappel is about the art of voyeurism. Produced in collaboration with Radio Canada’s ‘Chants Magnetiques,’ Rappel is a collection of recordings from a little Bell branch office, and from answering machines. Sound experimenters have dropped in on people’s phone conversations, capturing their innocent exchanges with one another. The effect is at once banal and disturbing, catching these transmissions and monitoring them much the same way someone would from security services. In a world of instant communications and yet unprecedented surveillance, Rappel tackles issues of privacy and appropriation, and the lines that are drawn between the private and public self when you try to reach out and touch someone. Jocelyn Robert’s La Theorie Des Nerfs Creux is no less manipulative, but its intentions are more in creating waves and frequency-based glitches, similar in style to the German duo, Oval. Robert’s sound collages appear to come more from the electro-acoustic side of musical experimentation. Christof Migone’s Hole In The Head is a little more ambitious. Migone’s audio inventions are centered around the human voice, in particular the inner voice and how it haunts our thought and speech. Through piercing acoustics, Migone exposes the vocal accidents of speech: moans, screams, sighs, cries, chokes, slurps, wheezes, stutters and other imperfections. This is abrasive and at the same time humbling stuff. We often like to think of ourselves as sophisticated and enlightening conversationalists. But at base have we progressed as far as we think? Are we not, in the end just apes with haircuts? The mind reels.