Disembodied Voices
C.O.L.A. 2004 Exhibition, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, May 9 - June 27, 2004

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"Disembodied Voices," 2004 is a five projector multi-sensory interactive installation in which the viewer moves through a series of experiences exploring the differences between public and private life and how the global phenomenon of cell-phone conversations-those half public, disembodied conversations have become a ubiquitous irritant in contemporary society.

Disembodied Voices explores the banality of mobile phone conversations that intrude upon our urban public spaces. In this installation five dynamic animations fill the walls of the gallery space. Four of these animations are looping DVD projections that depict anonymous individuals moving through a series of public spaces, unaware of their surroundings because they are intent on their cell-phone conversation. At the bottom of each projection are fragments of text that represent the monologue one would hear if one was within earshot of the person talking on the phone. The texts from the four projections intersect physically as the viewer reads across them. The fifth projection is connected to a computer and contains the interactive component of the installation. Visitors to the space trigger a series of sounds by interacting with 'toy' cell-phones that hang from the ceiling of the gallery. When visitors enter they can pick up one of the ten phones and press on any of its buttons. All the buttons are programmed to trigger an event on the wall. When the installation is inactive one sees a series of small icons randomly moving around the wall. Using the 'toy' phones causes the icons to grow from their diminutive silent state to a larger brighter version with sound. The voices reflect the global nature of cell phone usage as the conversations take place in numerous languages: French, Spanish, Japanese, Indonesian, Cantonese, as well as English. When all ten phones are active the experience is a sound collage, a cacophony of overlapping icons and voices.