Everybody’s plans and habits have been chewed up and spat out by Covid19.
For artist Colin Woods that means completely reassessing his work I Just Called.
“It’s no longer feasible to have visitors to an exhibition pick up a handset and listen to the pieces,” he says, “because the handsets are potentially vectors for transmission of pathogenic organisms, particularly as they involve hand contact and are then brought into close proximity to the face.
“At the same time, the pandemic has made us more aware of the importance of communication and connectedness, so I feel that the work is more important than ever.”
Woods’ solution has been to move the work online, as a browser-based interface that is optimised for smartphones. [see ijustcalled.online]
I Just Called is a series of voice recordings, of people pretending to make a phone call to a loved one. The anonymous callers’ words are unscripted and devoid of context, but the result is very affecting for the listener.
“This piece plays with the dynamic between intimacy and voyeurism,” Woods says. “We hear people saying heartfelt and private things to ones they love. By agreeing to be recorded for the work, they have given us permission to listen, but still there is a sense that we might be intruding – and that’s both delicious and slightly uncomfortable!
“I’m fascinated by humans and the theatre we perform as we all go about our daily activities.”
Colin will still be seeking to collect more content for the work – with strict social distancing measures to protect himself and participants.