Strange Coupling 2020 at the School of Art + Art History + Design (University of Washington), Seattle

August 21, 2020 – Ongoing

Strange Coupling Exhibition Website (2020), [White text over red background reads “Strange Coupling 2020 Exhibition” and it is angled upwards from left to right. Other text includes “Projects” and “About” which are aligned horizontally and centered.]

About Strange Coupling
Strange Coupling has been a student-run tradition in the School's Division of Art since 2002. It brings together the UW and the greater Seattle art community by pairing students with professional artists for a collaborative art project of their choice. Strange Coupling creates opportunities for mentorship, allows space for experimentation, and challenges participants to work with a creative partner whose practice differs from their own. This year, Strange Coupling decided to spice things up with a theme for the exhibition: Memory. Each of the work(s) produced by this year’s couplings speak to memory - as a place or an experience, fragmented or weighty, out of touch or within reach.

In response to the pandemic and state and national measures to keep the community safe, the Strange Coupling team also decided to coordinate the first-ever online Strange Coupling exhibition this year.

Greta Enloe and Juan Alberto Franco Ricardo, Notes On Telephone Lines (2020), Google Doc, 31 pages [A series of three screen-captured images featuring a Google Doc titled “Strange Coupling 2020 Notes: Greta & Juan - Juan Franco.” The top two images are mostly a white background featuring one smaller image. Both images feature heavy-line work resembling buildings in a city and connecting telephone/electrical lines. The bottom images is a document with black text on a white background that begins “Notes on Telephone Lines.” The rest of the text is found below.]


Artists Statement

Hello? Can you hear me?

We talked on the phone about memory and we came across a place to take notes. Our voices travelled across some three thousand miles to discover the process of making. Memory in the body allows travel and distancing. A process where the personal meets the challenge of representing an almost unexplainable process. The simplicity of line connects points in space and points in time.

Memory works like drawing a line because a line's imperfections, the humanness of its mark, connect and embellish ideas. When we communicate with our memories, about our memories, we create intersections of past times, bending lines that had no intention of meeting.

This document acts both like an artwork and spaces that display works of art. Imagine that scrolling through the pages represents a walking action, from wall to floor to ceiling to wall. Walk past uninteresting ideas, examine what catches your interests.


Yep, I can hear you- loud and clear!

We tried many ways to explain what memory is, exactly- is it an amalgamation of factual events and images creating a fabricated reality? Is it synapses making connections across the brain? Is it our individual experiences crosshatched with our own biases and opinions?

To be fair, I don’t think we settled on an answer. We did, however, settle on the telephone wire as a perfect symbol of what exactly we were trying to say. It’s a fabricated pathway to convey the very real phenomenon of voice, of presence. Ironically enough, it was also how we were able to communicate with one another in the first place.

The line is the foundation of, well, most things. A simple point from A to B. It can also intersect unexpectedly, maybe take a hard left just when you thought it would go right. Perhaps the telephone wire was a forgone conclusion to you. If memory serves me right, I’m not so sure it felt the same to us.