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tele- is an unusual online art and literary magazine, formed through a process similar to the game telephone, in which one person whispers a word or phrase to the next person, and the whisper is passed on, changing as it goes around the circle. Each tele- artist receives the piece of a previous artist, someone working in a different language or medium, and attempts to carry that piece over, to translate it, into their own medium. For a more detailed look at tele-'s processes and aims, see below

tele- Issue One drops Thursday, September 13, 2018, featuring work by poets, musicians, and visual artists, each of whom has created their piece as part of tele-'s semi-collaborative process. From these separate works, and from the artists' reflections on their processes, develops the whole—the finished issue—a visible stream of this process of communication, continuation, and change. 

We will be celebrating the launch of Issue One at Secret Project Robot in Brooklyn, NY on Thursday, September 20, 2018. We invite you to come celebrate with us. The event is open to all (21+). There will be brief performances and readings by tele- artists, information on the magazine, snacks, limited edition tele- merch and giveaways, and DJ sets. 


tele- is an unusual online art and literary magazine, focusing on communication, collaboration, and continuation across distance, language, and medium. 



“In the end, works of art are the only media of complete and unhindered communication between man and man that can occur in a world full of gulfs and walls that limit the community of experience.” — John Dewey, Art as Experience

Each issue of tele- is an experiment set up to test the capacities of art. A family of questions guides the investigation: How can a work of art function as a form of communication, and on what level of consciousness does this transaction take place? In the liminal space between speaker and listener, writer and reader, artist and observer, what forces are at work in filtering, transforming, and translating* the message? How much of the self is involved in the transmission of the message? To what extent can one pass it on? What parts of the self intervene in, or interfere with, what was said? What is the role of game-playing, or play in general, in mediating our ability to understand each other, but also to lead our perhaps more separate creative lives? 


“If… the adult can manage to enjoy the personal intermediate area without making claims, then we can acknowledge our own corresponding intermediate areas, and are pleased to find a degree of overlapping, that is to say common experience between members of a group in art or religion or philosophy.” — D. W. Winnicott, Playing and Reality

tele- issues are formed from a semi-collaborative process, in which each contributor creates a work individually in response to the work of another tele- contributor, attempting to carry the piece over* through a different medium. By power of the game’s iterative nature, each artist, in trying to say the whole thing, creates a piece of the whole, a phrase within the paragraph that the issue turns out to be. Artists are invited into this particular mode of collaboration as a playful and mysterious “meeting grounds” that “[brings] out into the open a strange possibility of thought, which is that of its pooling” (Andre Breton, 1930). tele- begins as a whisper from one artist to the next, stirring the different notes of the wind chime, rustling the leaves, humming at the tops of empty bottles, resulting in a strange chord of these things touched by the wind. 


This type of collaboration, this carrying over or passing on, is essentially an act of continuation of a thought, impulse, image, or gesture as it passes through hands, minds, languages, and media, and over distance. tele- is made up of this process of perceiving, understanding, engaging and negotiating with the work of others, the working through, or analysis, of the movement between contributors, and the final product, the published issue, in which readers/viewers and contributors can see each element as it makes up the whole, experiencing that movement themselves as they click through the ordered pages. The audience is invited to engage with the work as a whole by following its development, observing not just the pieces themselves, but their emergent relationship. 

The Machine

“Play is the base of every truly creative art expression.” — James John Sweeney

tele- is similar to the game known as telephone, teléfono descompuesto, or the game of variants, in which one person whispers a word or phrase to the next player and the whisper is passed on, changing as it goes around the circle. The goal is not to purposefully alter the whisper passed around the telephone game, but to continue the line of communication in its inevitable changing. The game is a machine that allows gaps to emerge by themselves—between what you said and what I took you to say, between what I said and what I thought I meant, etc.—, and it is in those gaps that tele- comes alive and each issue acquires a destiny of its own.  Each activation of tele-’s mechanism is an experiment in the trans-individual dimension of speaking and listening, a summoning of the unconscious, that strange, always slanted harmony of our individual voices.

Each issue begins with a theme. A jumping off point for the first contributor to begin from and a sort of soft compass for proceeding contributors to turn to, if they need some grounding or context. The first contributor creates a piece embodying or responding to this theme and sends it to the editors, who pass it on to the following contributor, someone working in a different medium and/or language. Along with the submission of their piece, each contributor includes a brief statement (see below) on their contribution. This statement, however, plays no direct role in the transmission, as subsequent artists work exclusively off of the incarnation of the message passed on to them. In this way, the finished issue results from two processes, one transitive, the other self-reflective.

The Work & Working Through

The completed issue of tele- includes each contributor’s piece, presented in order of generation, so that viewers can click through and watch the evolution of the message. This showcases the work at the heart of tele-: how each individual piece in fact engages with the one that came before; what survives (and in what form) from one piece to the next; what a piece ends up doing through (or despite?) its attempt to translate its predecessor. The work, in short, is just the living thing itself—plainly visible in its stages yet mum as to what it is and by dint of what forces. In addition, each piece links to a written statement, where the artist reflects on, works through, their contribution. If the work is the unfolding dream, the working through is the no-less pregnant attempt to formulate its meaning. Far from providing an immediate, or unfiltered, glimpse into the invisible process of tele-’s transmission, they are, once again, results of this process, only turned inward. 


*translate (v.) early 14c., "to remove from one place to another," also "to turn from one language to another," from Old French translater and directly from Latin translatus "carried over," serving as past participle of transferre "to bring over, carry over" (see transfer), from trans "across, beyond" (see trans-) + lātus "borne, carried." — From Online Etymology Dictionary
At the heart of tele- is this process of translation, which, rather than merely converting one thing to another, is a process of moving, carrying, and exchanging a single transmission as it changes naturally in each artist's hand.


Issue One

Our first issue features work by:



Yanyi is a poet and critic. In 2018, he won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize, awarded by Carl Phillips, for his first book, The Year of Blue Water (Yale University Press 2019). Currently, he is an associate editor at Foundry and an MFA candidate at New York University. He formerly served as Director of Technology and Design at The Brooklyn Institute for Social Research, senior editor at Nat. Brut, and curatorial assistant at The Poetry Project. He is the recipient of fellowships from Asian American Writers Workshop and Poets House. Find his recent work in VIDA, Reservoir, and Memorious.


Aria Aber

Aria Aber was raised in Germany, where she was born to Afghan refugees. Her work can be found or is forthcoming from The Poetry Review, Best British Poetry, Narrative Magazine, Kenyon Review, and others. She holds an MFA from NYU and is the recipient of the 2018-2019 Ron Wallace poetry fellowship from the Wisconsin Institute of Creative Writing. Her debut book HARD DAMAGE won the 2018 Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry and will be published in September 2019. 


Celeste Byers

Celeste Byers is an artist and enthusiast of the existential from Ocean Beach in San Diego, California. Since graduating with a BFA in Illustration from Art Center College of Design in 2012, she has been working as a freelance illustrator, muralist, and installation artist in the United States, Mexico, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, New Zealand, and Australia. Her work is largely inspired by the natural world, inter-dimensional realities, and the subconscious mind, often conveying the mystical nature hidden in everyday life. She hopes to remind others of the magic and beauty of our universe. 


Photo by  Marcus McDonald  with styling by  Sharleen Chidiac

Photo by Marcus McDonald with styling by Sharleen Chidiac

Sarah Kinlaw

Sarah Kinlaw is a composer, choreographer and artist focusing on empathic potential and agency developed by performance. Known for both solo works and directing shows with as many as two-hundred performers, Kinlaw dissects themes of power, memory, trauma and connection, resisting corporeal jurisdiction and the ways sociopolitics regulate our bodies.  Her work has been featured throughout NYC in institutions like Pioneer Works, Mana Contemporary, National Sawdust, One Skylight Hanson, MoMA, Knockdown Center as well as throughout Europe.  Kinlaw has been written about in The New York Times, Art In America, Huffington Post, Art Forum and Pitchfork, amongst others. She co-runs Otion Front Studio, a performance and community space in Bushwick, Brooklyn and was recently accepted as an artist in residence at MoMA PS1.


Clayton McCracken

Clayton McCracken is an NYC-based video synthesist specializing in large-scale installation and analogue visual effects.


Kate Mohanty

Kate Mohanty is an avant-garde saxophonist based in Brooklyn. Kate is an active member of Brooklyn's music scene, committed to the process of improvisation, especially in the live setting. Mohanty's debut solo recording, The Double Image, was released via cassette in April 2017. The Double Image was named to Avant Music News Best of 2017.


Mia Pinheiro

Mia Pinheiro is a multi-disciplinary artist who is from the New Bedford MA/Burlington, VT and currently lives in Mexico City. In June 2018 she exhibited mYto, a myth-making playground during her residency at LLORAR CDMX in Mexico City and in March 2018, she created the immersive fantasy Feast of Fictions while in residency at The Lab Program at Pandeo DF in Mexico City. She completed an intensive study with the choreographer Deborah Hay and was a cast member of the Royal Frog Ballet Surrealist Cabaret Autumn 2017 after teaching the intensive summer course The Body Ensouled: Intimacy of Place and Insight of Motion with Temenos VT. She has created a variety of collaborative movement pieces with unique location including the Winooski River, New City Gallerie, The Light Club Lamp Shop, The Hive, The Attic, Museu Contemporaneo Arte Oaxaca and Bosque Ciudad de Mexico. She has received a degree in contemporary dance and movement studies through the University of Vermont and has with studied with wide variety of talented choreographers including Erika Senft-Miller, Claire Byrne and Hannah Dennison. She is an alumni of Temenos Vermont's Course Creative Concept Development: Art as Alchemy. She has supplemented her studies through the completion of many workshops: 'Siente' at CASA San Augustin Etla in Oaxaca, MX by Laura Rios and Linda Austin, 'Figure/Ground' at Shelburne Farms Breeding Barn by Hannah Dennison, 'Taller Danza Africana' at AfrOaxaquena, MX by Karim Keita and 'MELT' at Movement Research, NY by Vicky Schick. She has often found herself as a assistant stage director, choreographer or roving performance artist. 


Estefania Puerta

Estefania Puerta's work delves into organic and inorganic materials to form new poetics of transformation and translation. She is interested in what is gained and lost in the process of making and the new worlds that can emerge from fickle metaphors. Her insistence on examining the folly of translation stems from her need to explore world making, border crossing, bodies that do not fit into societies/societies that do not fit into bodies, and creating a new language for those that have never felt like they could speak. Puerta works in various mediums such as sculpture, painting, writing, and performance and is deeply invested in the web created through working in multiple forms that does not have a fixed center or hierarchy.  Estefania studied at the University of Vermont and received her MFA from Yale School of Art. She was born in Colombia and raised in Boston. She currently lives and works in Vermont. 


Nicolás Ruiz

Nicolás Ruiz estudió letras francesas y literatura comparada en la UNAM. Se dedica ahora
a planes confusos de dominación mundial a través de distintos medios electrónicos. Ha
escrito sobre cine, literatura, teatro, cómics y cultura popular un poco en todos lados.
Ahora mismo es editor, conductor y redactor para Código Espagueti y Noticieros Televisa
en la interminable Ciudad de México.


Nicolás Ruiz studied French Literature and Comparative Literature in the National Autonomous University of Mexico. He now devotes his time to half-baked plans for world domination through different electronic media. He has written about film, literature, theater, comics, and popular culture more or less everywhere. At the moment he is editor, host, and copywriter for Código Espagueti and Noticieros Televisa in the interminable Mexico City. 

Rachael Uhlir

Rachael Uhlir is an emerging artist playing with analog photography, soundscapes, and the color red. Her work reflects on themes of mediation of self concept, the power of touch, texture, and contemporary feminism. Previously Rachael taught English using photography at a public school in Manhattan. She has her Master's in Education from City College and was a New York City Teaching Fellow. Rachael is also the creator of Femmetography, an online social network for femme and non-binary photographers. She has shown her work alongside many notable current feminist artists including Marilyn Minter, Kate Gilmore, Lotte Karlsen, Anne Sherwood Pundyk and Go!Pushpops. Most importantly she believes that anything, done with heart, is an art. 


With cover art by

Joey Agresta

Joey Agresta is an audio and visual artist currently living in Burlington, VT.

and translation by

Photo by  Benjamin Stein

Misha Davidoff

Misha Davidoff is an editor and translator at tele-. He currently resides in a box in Baltimore, and will come out once his thesis writes itself. His interests are manifold and boring, like how can something even mean anything, and how to make carbonara.



Frequently Asked Questions


+ How does it work?

Each issue of tele- is created through a semi-collaborative process, in which each contributor creates a work individually in response to the work of another tele- contributor, attempting to carry the piece over through a different medium.

The issue begins with a theme, which is given to all contributors. This theme will serve as a jumping off point for the first contributor to begin from and a sort of soft compass for proceeding contributors to turn to, if they need some grounding or context.

1) The first artist creates a piece that embodies the issue's theme.

2) That piece is sent to the following contributor, someone working in a different language or medium. This contributor does their best to translate the work they were given into their own medium.

3) Each artist, in addition to creating their work, submits a statement in which they reflect on their process of receiving, engaging with, and translating the piece they were sent. This statement is published with the completed issue but is not sent to the following artist, and is therefore not a part of the following artists' understanding of the piece.

+ Can I submit a piece that I've already created? Do you publish previously created pieces?

When submitting to participate in the next issue of tele-, we ask that you please send examples of your work, so that we can get to know it a bit. However, tele- is formed exclusively from work that has been created for tele- and in response to the work of another tele- contributor. Therefore, we do not publish previously created work.

Your submission should be representative of the sort (medium, style, etc.) of work you are interested in contributing, rather than a preview of what you expect your piece to look like in the published issue. Again, we want to stress the major role we expect other contributors' work to play in determining your contribution.

+ I work with a partner on collaborative projects. Can we both take part?

You may submit to contribute to tele- together with your partner or team. All of the same rules and guidelines apply.

+ How are time slots determined? How long does each artist have to work on their piece?

When you are chosen to participate in an issue of tele-, you will be given a time slot, typically one week, for creating your piece. If you have commitments or conflicts planned in advance that could interfere with your ability to complete your work on time, please include this information in your tele- submission. tele- depends upon the timeliness of its contributors in order to maintain its continuity and production schedule.

+ I see that the artist statements on process are not sent to the following contributor. Are the artist statements (the analysis/"the working through") published in the issue?

Yes! These statements are an important part of the completed issue. We do not pass these statements on to the following artist, as we want each contributor create their own work entirely from an engagement with the piece itself. However, in the completed issue, the artist statement provides a look at another side of the tele- process.

If the work is the unfolding dream, the working through is the no-less pregnant attempt to formulate its meaning. Far from providing an immediate, or unfiltered, glimpse into the invisible process of tele-’s transmission, they are, once again, results of this process, only turned inward.


A Hall Headshot.jpg

Alexandria Hall
Founder, Editor-in-Chief

Alexandria Hall is a poet, musician, and educator from Vermont. She received her MFA from NYU, where she also served as web editor of Washington Square Review. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in NarrativeBOAATThe Bennington Review, Foundry, Memorious, and elsewhere. She currently lives in Baltimore, MD. 



Misha Davidoff
Editor, Translator

Misha Davidoff is a writer, artist, and grad student from Mexico City. He currently lives in Baltimore, MD.