INDIA JOHN, Editor In Chief
Brainchild of alums Lauren Day Willis’10 and Corbin Bartell’10, the Telephone Art Project (TAP) is a sophisticated mutation of the childhood game ‘telephone.’ Rather than picking a word and whispering it around a circle and seeing how distorted it is at the end, the vehicle of TAP is art. A piece of art is created, anonymously passed on to the next artist who is given 48 hours to create a response, then the new piece is passed on to the next artist for 48 hours, and so forth. This year’s exhibition can be seen this Thursday evening, May 3, in the Science Center atrium from 7:30 to 9 p.m.
“I wondered to myself why art was such a touch-me-not, always trying to draw away and segregate itself from other forms of art,” says Willis.
A response to the distancing of art between mediums, the first TAP was successfully executed in spring 2010 by Willis and Bartell. More than a dozen participants were hand-selected based on recommendations from faculty and friends, producing the final product: an artful conglomeration of painting, photography, music, and sculpture, exhibited in the Science Center atrium for one night only. Willis describes the beginning of TAP as a thought process initiated by a desire to create something out of the “Cage for One Anarchist” sculpture. What she created with Bartell was a hot dog stand, the subject of the “Hot Dog for a Lone Anarchist” photographs, the first piece of TAP 2010.
Two years after the first TAP, Willis has moved on to bigger and better things: TAP Los Angeles. Currently in its infant stages, TAP LA is the big brother to TAP Beloit – everything is bigger.
“We can’t walk from dorm to dorm delivering art projects anymore, you know?” explains Willis. “Along with the sheer scale, this is going to be one of the hardest aspects: raising the money to make TAP LA actually happen.”
Despite the overwhelming magnitude of the ambition for TAP LA, Willis is confidant in its success based on positive feedback from friends and fellow artists, and is in the process of creating a project profile on kickstarter.com to get funding. Currently Willis hopes to have the TAP LA exhibition up by mid-October.
“If nothing else,” says Willis, “TAP LA is an adventure meant to engage, amuse, inspire, and enthrall.”