donderdag 23 augustus 2007

Cell Phone Sculptures by Joe McKay


vertexList space 9/7-9/8/2007
from the expo's write-up:

Cell phones are contentious little machines. We depend on them to contact our loved ones, or the tow truck. But we hate them too. They make us look silly when they ring during a movie or an artist talk. We both love and resent how connected they make us to everyone else with a cell phone.

So the day you get a new cell phone is a complicated one. The new phone has bells and whistles and good reception – it is without a doubt a "better" phone. But what happens to the object you kept in your pocket all those months, the little machine that vibrated against your thigh and played Santana when your best friend was calling? Do you drive it to Circuit City and toss it into their cell phone recycling bin, telling yourself that you were uneasy about discarding your phone for environmental reasons, and not emotional ones? Or do you leave it in your junk drawer next to your very first cell phone, which still produces a tinge of guilt.The cell phone sculptures give these old phones a second life. Torn apart and recontextualized – they perform new functions. A dog-chewed phone gets to show off its beautiful broken display. Two flip phones become telegraph sounders. Four phones combine to make a musical keyboard. And so on.

Joe McKay is an artist/hacker who makes work with and about digital culture. McKay grew up in Ontario, Canada and got his MFA from UC Berkeley. In 2001 McKay participated of the Whitney Independent Study Program and had a two-person collaborative exhibition with Kristin Lucas titled "The Electric Donut". In 2004 Joe had his first solo show at VertexList in Williamsburg, New York. He has shown his work in the Berkshire museum, the National Gallery of Canada, the ICA in San Jose, the Pacific Film Archive, and the New Museum.

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