From The Joe Frank Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Lines [1]
Work In Progress
Original Broadcast Date
Arthur Miller, Tim Jerome, Sally Rainer, Julie Renick, Joe Frank
Telephone, Panel Discussion, Absurd Monologue, 59 minutes
Preceded by: The Street
Followed by: Words

What's your name? "Nina." Where are you calling from?

Lines is a program Joe Frank produced as part of the series Work In Progress. It was originally broadcast in 1988.


Joe talks to a woman on a telephone chat line and asks an endless series of questions- being a clown in New York, first sexual experience. A woman and man fight about a woman caller who won't talk when she picks up the phone. Some people chat on a chat line. Panel discussions: a long distance couple whose passion is heightened by the distance between them; prison visitation experience heightened by further separating the parties; a man who covers his body with portable telephony equipment; the phone as the ultimate form of birth control. Joe talks to another woman on the chat line - he's suspicious of her, tries to fight with her, "when do you like to be touched?" Deep, distorted voice: a phone conversation as a chess game, computerizing a telemarketing call, people as unconscious voice stress analyzers, lonely people and answering machines, silence as an argument parry, excusing a missed psychiatrist appointment with recorded airport terminal sounds, bar room phones that supply artificial background sounds, the urgency of a ringing telephone, appearing suave on the phone no matter what you look like. Joe talks to the woman on the phone: people who believe they are in touch are deluded, conversation as a board game, being a certain way, bathing. A distorted voice talks about picking up a telephone in a booth and having a suggestive conversation with a strange woman. Joe and a woman engage in a telephone encounter. Panel discussion: telephone modulation as an allegory for human communication.


Additional credits

The original broadcast credits state: "Arthur Miller, Tim Jerome, Sally Rainer, Julie Renick, and Joe Frank. It was produced in the studios of KCRW Santa Monica, and mixed by Jeff Sykes." Credit also given to Mark TeleVenture Conference Line of Van Nuys on some recordings.