For a good time call 832-525-5113

Touch that dial: The Art Guys ring in the new year with interactive phone calls

Touch that dial: The Art Guys ring in the new year with interactive phone calls

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Do touch that dial!
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The Art Guys Photo by George Krause
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For a good time, call 832-525-5113.

That's the phone number linked to a conceptual artwork, "Phone," by The Art Guys, as part of the exhibition FREERIDING at Texas Woman's University in Denton.

"The show features work that reflects on or incorporates giving and taking," Jack Massing of the Houston-based art duo told CultureMap in a phone interview. "We just bought a phone and it sits on a pedestal."

Audiences are encouraged to call the phone number and leave messages. Alternatively, visitors to the exhibition are permitted to answer the phone and interact with the callers.

"It's surprisingly active. I just downloaded 14 messages five minutes ago," said Massing. "We live in a day and age when virtually everyone has a cell phone, at least in a certain level of society, which is remarkable. The idea that there are so many cell phones is one of the ideas that spurred this idea along. Our artistic endeavor is simple — anyone can be involved. There are so many things involved in communication and the exhibition of artwork."

Massing and his partner-in-art Michael Galbreth have discovered that participants are capitalizing on the open call to perform as actors and musicians during voicemail messages.

"It's opened a gateway for a flood of creativity," says Massing.

The artwork has drawn callers from Canada and across the United States, from California to Pennsylvania. Often the messages are experimental, with sounds that are not really words. Massing compares the experience to a "more one-sided" chat roulette.

The final phone bill, with accompanying phone log, will be posted at the end of the exhibition. The public is invited to call the phone number through Feb. 10.

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