nO fixed address

nO fiXeD aDdrESs is firmly attached to a particular moment in the history of technology - a time when the answering machine held a certain frisson, the blinking light signified a singular connection, before the proliferation of toll numbers and sex hotlines. The work unfolds as a series of recorded messages. Broadcast TV commercials and matchbooks were distributed throughout the city inviting the audience to call.

Joey Morgan, No Fixed Address

What do you think you can see in a photo like that and a couple of notes, a name, a date they all seem so much the same.
You know, I could tell you something real. But I can't tell you here, and I can't tell you right now. You'll have to call me. I'm at 685-3953 ..
.      

 

uh - this isn't something I would usually do -- not that you're the first one to call, but I'm just not used to doing this kind of thing. It seems that recently I've been so distracted - like I need to explain something -- but I'm never quite sure what?...

 

...I don't think I could be talking to you like this if I thought you might know who I really was...


The confessional quality of the recorded voice soothes the listener, alternately controlling the situation and then suddenly vulnerable and pathetic with stories of a photograph found. Other stories are told in rapid succesion, urgently building one on top of the other. The listener's position drifts between voyeur and participant, as the one who can keep the game going .. .no one has to know you're calling me... by dialing the next number and the next number and the next number after that. There may be analogies to social, psychological and theatrical conceits, but for the moment both the recorded voice and listener are at the center of the ruse, ...OK maybe we should try to have a real conversation... and the analysis can wait until later.

On the fourth call, the work builds into a complex soundtrack, folding back into previous recordings until finally, overloaded, it breaks, ending abruptly with a straightforward description of the technology and a bemused invitation to continue the piece.


(1987)
Mercer Union, curated by Liz Magor, with media assistance of Moses Znaimer / City TV
(bookwork /catalog, matchbooks and TV commercials)

(1989) 100 Days of Contemporary Art, Centre International d’Art Contemporain, Montréal Canada, curated by Claude Gosselin.
(catalog, matchbooks and TV commercials)

(1991) Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, curated by Keith Wallace with media assistance of BCT.
(matchbooks, and TV commercials)

(1992-93) Sydney Biennale, The Boundary Rider, Sydney Australia, curated by Anthony Bond.
(catalog and matchbooks)