[for the purpose of catching ourselves in the act of being the most]
Julian Avery Leonard & Eric Brewster with the Generalist
46 hours, 12 minutes, 52 seconds
Julian Avery Leonard and Eric Brewster publicly exhibited a 46-hour phone conversation from two rooms of an exhibition space. Guinness World Records officials were there to “make it official”—to help them quantify and measure spoken intimacy in terms of the passage of time, with full video surveillance and a live stream. Viewers came to interact with them and around them, antagonize them, throw out topic suggestions, bring them toys. The artists addressed no one but each other, for two days and two nights.
As we all grow accustomed to the constant display of our daily lives—the artists became cheap local celebrities off it, tortured themselves in the infinite reverberations of their basic habits. A communication medium like the telephone isolates one sense and lets our discourse perform the distance, while our bodies remain in severed and dynamic material environments. These en- vironments became their own social worlds as interactions among viewers erupted in the space around the body of each artist. Brewster and Leonard saw their private world together exhibited in public, brought to a place of incommunicable entrapment, intellectual and emotional deterioration.
The other artists in the collective were required by Guinness to monitor the “conversation topics” being discussed by Brewster and Leonard, to ensure that there were no “repeat topics.” If there had been, of course, the piece would not have qualified as the longest continuous phone conversation in the world.
Members of The Generalist: Daniel Erickson, Ginny Fahs, Andrew Harris, Simon Huesken, Ben Lorenz, William McChesney, Nikhil Mehra, Zena Mengesha, Ryan Adams Murphy, Mariel Pettee, Will Poff-Webster, Tyler Richard, Eric Brewster, Julian Avery Leonard.