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Intended for conversation and dialogue, study and contemplation, Tel_ is the second in a series that asks artists to imagine what a museum community space can be. Located on the Tang’s mezzanine, Tel_ takes its name from the archeological term for an artificial mound formed by the accumulated remains of people living on the same site for hundreds of years. The project is an examination of history (memory) considered as layers, strata, residue. Tel_ is an archive. Tel_ is an open document, a conversation, a dialogic construct. The project aims to question how the nature of memory has changed in relation to the encroachment of cyberspace, telematics, and transmission technologies. 

The work is open, in that it is in a continual state of becoming, as an ongoing sculptural gesture. Past iterations of the project have been presented as transmissions, sound works, video montage, photographs presented in series, sets of binders and document sleeves. At the Tang, this structure will expand within the space of the mezzanine to create a reading room and listening space. 

Over the course of the long-running installation, Patton will use the space to stage a program of dialogues and workshops, and to develop a series of actions in conversation with objects in the museum collection to produce document objects (photos, books, essays) as well as an archive of actions (video and audio recordings of conversations with and about objects).
Exhibition Name
Exhibition Type
Solo Exhibitions
State Farm Mezzanine Gallery
Oct 21, 2017 - Sep 8, 2019
Tel_ is organized by the Tang Museum in collaboration with the artist.
Kamau Amu Patton
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