“Call Me” is a performative, multi-media work in which I wear a hat on my head with my phone number embroidered across the front, just above the brim. Like some sort of promotional material or advertisement for myself, the hat seeks to make passersby curious enough to call or text me. The resulting phone conversations, text messages and voicemails become artifacts of an interaction.
When I listen to a voicemail left by somebody I’ve never met before, or read a text message sent by a complete stranger, I realize these are often the most personal interactions we will have throughout the day, sequestered to a small screen in our hands.
When I moved to New York in August of 2016, I quickly realized how isolating a large city can be. I wasn’t used to walking down the street without running into a friend or waving to a co-worker as they passed in a car. At the same time, I was learning to adapt to the lack of space, and incidentally, studio space. It was at this junction that I became interested in focusing on the dissolution of human interaction through advances in technology and its effect on our psychology.
Art has always existed interpersonally, between viewer and maker, participant and provocateur, it takes two to tango. This piece lives in the space our interactions create. Only when people reach out to each other can we experience our similarities and differences.
Call Me seeks to reverse this deafening lack of conversation through using the medium of cellphone communication to activate a human response from the work. This work is like an experiment with the control being myself. I am the aggregator of the messages and the connections that people make in everyday life, be it on the subway, in a bar or at the park. Physical studio space in very limited in New York, especially on a budget, but there is a potential for unlimited emotional space, Call Me is a piece that reminds people of that fact.