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1-5 Wilkinson St
Brunswick 3056
Victoria, Australia

Thursday-Sunday 12-6pm

TCB acknowledges the people of the Kulin Nations as the traditional custodians of the land, recognising their connection to land, waters and community. We pay our respects to their Elders; past, present and future.

©2023 TCB Art Inc.


26 Feb 2020—15 Mar 2020

Teledex is short for ‘telephone directory’.

‘Tele’ is shorthand not only for telephone but for contact modes in general (Ancient Greek têle, “at a distance, far away”) ‘tele’ refers to contacting those far from us. ‘Dex’ is shorthand for directory, but the fundamental meaning of ‘dex’ is twofold: it refers to hands, as in dexterity and to an axiomatic, standardised order – of ten –  as in the decimal system. Etymologically, ‘dex’ refers specifically to ‘the right hand’: right is used here in both senses of the word. This understanding, of taking direction from a ‘dex’ (index, codex, teledex, etc) comes from a trust in and centrality of the hands. Teledexes feature a sliding dial that directs you to find your contact, and within is a pile of organised scribbles. Everyone you know accounted for, in inky indentations, gestures rendered concrete.

This is now an antiquated technology. In one of Cherine Fahd’s annotations in her photographic series Apokryphos, she muses: “Where does all the energy go?” Handwriting is analogous to the voice, they are impressions we leave “in excess of speech and meaning … with an inner intentionality” (Mladen Dolar, A Voice and Nothing More). Recently, the smell of a loved one’s beanie conjured upon me their immediate presence, more embodied than the estranged body I’d only hours before seen mummified and chauffeured away. We’ll dispose of almost anything but photos and handwritten notes, even bodies.

What does a scribble hold that a body cannot?

Documentation by Jordan Halsall.
Images courtesy of Gabriella D’Costa.