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September 28, 2005

The Confession Line?

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

Here's a fun online conceptual-art project. It seems to me to be the descendent of a pre-home-computers, circa-1980 art project called something like The Confession Line. An artist rigged a telephone answering machine so that callers could leave personal confessions or listen to recordings of these confessions.

I loved to listen in and often did. Anonymity gave confessors license to spill mucho guts, and the fact that listeners were hearing actual voices made these monologues startlingly immediate. Weird! Spooky! Arousing! Fun!

But for the life of me I can't remember the actual name of this art project. Is anyone else's read-access memory in better shape than mine is?



UPDATE: Hallelujah, my mind isn't completely gone yet. As I munched my lunchtime salad, it came back to me: The art project I'm remembering was called The Apology Line. Here's a site dedicated to it. I'm sorry to learn that Allan Bridge, the artist behind The Apology Line, died in 1995.

posted by Michael at September 28, 2005


Wide-scope, public-access, 24/7 jamboree.

Mr. Phelps in Mission Impossible could choose to accept the challenge (either way the tape would self-destruct, leaving only his pride/conscience to harangue him if he wussed out). I wonder if there are any "artists" (Mr. Bridge might have considered himself an impressario) who, upon completing challenges, enjoyed the payoff of basking in the warm glow of well-earned populism.

Posted by: playrink on September 28, 2005 2:48 PM

Also take a look at It's not audio, but interesting

Posted by: Dan G on September 28, 2005 3:38 PM

Playrink -- I think your idea of thinking of conceptual artists as impresarios is very shrewd!

Dan G. -- Thanks for the link. That's a lot like the Apology Line. I wonder if they even know the kind of work they're descending from, not that it matters, I suppose ...

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on September 29, 2005 10:13 AM

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