Concierto por teléfono 1981
Materials: Telephone, tactile poem, audio recording (Unique work)
Courtesy: Lucy + Jorge Orta
In the late seventies, alongside artists Clemente Padín in Uruguay, Damaso Orgaz in Venezuela, Edgardo Vigo and Graciela Marx in Argentina, Jorge Orta joined a network strategy for communication and distribution of ideas through Mail Art that proliferated throughout Latin America. They believed in “an art from the base upward, without artists”, which embraced a critique of society, politics and the very conservative and commercial face of the art world.
Mail Art was one of the main modes of widespread distribution of visual arts in the 1970s and early 1980s, and was eagerly employed in Latin America. In the context of political repression, it served artists to create ubiquitous platforms to disseminate messages otherwise blocked by State controlled circuits such as the printed media. Orta was no exception: at that time he also conceived conceptual works encompassing Concierto por Teléfono (Telephone Concert)—a music recording distributed by arbitrarily choosing numbers from the phone book to defy social isolation and the lack of interest in culture. Often these works were made collectively, transgressing the isolation promoted by the regime and the fear of persecution.