A library is more than a collection of books: it is a space that suspends time and most stimuli. In this relative void is contemplation, ennui, and distraction. The moving images in The Library (2007) were captured by a cell phone in the Harold Washington Library in Chicago, and play randomly.
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The cell phone, seemingly ubiquitous in our culture, has become increasingly powerful – first phone, then PDA, then browser, now camera, etc. In the case of Cell Tagging (2006), the phone became a remote control that allowed the user to dial, speak, and draw. The mobile phone occupies a space that is both connecting and distancing. The normal interfaces of the gallery and the computer were removed, replaced by another technology that is familiar, but not as a drawing tool or art artifact. By calling a number, viewers were asked to dial in a zip code/city code that means something to them. The aerial map of that place popped up on the screen. They were then be asked to speak into the phone and say why that place is meaningful. Using the keypad as a kind of pencil, users drew in a continuous line that moved depending on the number key pressed; for example, the number 2 drew upwards. I was interested in making the viewers aware of the control that cell phones give them by requiring their use to enact the piece. I feel that cell phones redraw space and our relationship to it. As opposed to the land-line phone, which exists in one place, the cell exists every place we are. Cells are disruptive to those around, as the cell-speaker ignores where s/he is, and is transported into his/her conversation. The cell-speaker makes every place his/her own, graffiting the sound-space of an area. With Cell Tagging, I attempted to literalize that act of marking.
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Project requires Flash.
An early experiment in cell phone photography, Screenshots (2004) pushes the limit of the legibility of the image. Shot through a window screen, the low-resoluton images depict the Boston street outside the restaurant where these images were taken.