by Michel Auder
Analog video, color, sound, 53', 1993
Voyage to the Centre of the Phone Lines borrows its title from Jules Verne’s science-fiction novel Voyage au centre de la terre from 1864, in which a German professor explores volcanic tubes that lead him to the earth’s core and to an 1860s understanding of our planet’s geological development. ‘Voyage’ usually denotes faraway travel by sea, and Auder uses ‘holiday’ images of beaches, sunsets and verandas, already stamped with that vintage VHS look, to illustrate a sound track entirely consisting of excerpts from cordless and wireless telephone conversations between unnamed, unknown people. We all know eavesdropping is supposed to be bad, but even if we put up some resistance at first we cannot help being sucked into this maelstrom (another word that Jules Verne liked) of religious and financial speculation, parental despair, gleeful psychobabble and frank erotic revelation. Auder is usually right about what captures our attention and what constitutes unadulterated human interest.
"floating words in an echo world"
Thursday, October 4, 10.30pm