Have you ever wondered why there is no telephone art?
After all, the telephone is ubiquitous - everyone has one.
We think a paint brush is to make art, and a piano is to make art. But the paint brush and the piano are simply mediums for art. And the telephone is simply a medium, but not for art. Why's that?
Frankly, I think it is because the telephone is too close for us to see. In fact on the telephone we see nothing but we hear everything.
And worse we are a literate culture that privileges the eye. In fact to understand my designer city, Canberra, you need to see it from the God's eye view.
In a literate culture point of view is everything.
But in an aural culture there is no point of view at all. And of course the telephone is entirely aural in exactly the same way a tribal village is aural - entirely without points of view. We had to wait until the printing press was invented before we discovered perspective and point of view.
I don't know how many times I have invited people here to join me on the telephone. And on the very few times my invitation has been accepted, the conversation has been structured along points of view.
And this perhaps explains why we don't use the telephone as an art medium. It is because we are trying to force point of view down the telephone when it won't fit.
It seems so alien to think of the telephone as an instrument for the making of art.
But it is not that the telephone is alien but that we are alienated from our own voice.
Were we to use the telephone as an art form, we would be listening to timbre, rhythm, rhyme and warmth.
But somehow the telephone embarrasses us when the telephone is an ambassador from another culture - the spoken culture from our deep past and which is to be our deep future.