Saturday, July 21, 2007

How it begins...


It's not just "smoke and mirrors..." it also takes a cell phone!

My sister lives in Sarajevo and recently came home for a visit. As soon as she landed in Vermont her cell phone went out of service. She was more than annoyed, and noted that she was able to use her cell phone on a remote little island off the coast of Africa, flying over the Atlantic, but once in Vermont....nothing. She couldn't access any of her over-seas phone numbers, or call our mother from Church Street, 5 blocks away from home. Her irritation and frustration over this loss of instant communication was almost palpable. Now, everyone I know has a cell phone. But I don't. I still communicate the old-fashioned way; via land-line. It's not that I dislike cell phones; in fact, I think they are much more practical and far more interesting than my cordless. I just haven't taken the time to cancel my Verizon- and finances dictate that I have one or the other, but not both. My sister's predicament got me thinking.

Incredible, how in just a few short years the cell phone has changed life as we knew it, and on a global scale. The cell phone is drenched in yin-yang: we all want our kids to have one; for protection and to maintain a constant line of parental communication. Car-driving cell-phone-talkers cause accidents. Funny ringtones keep us amused. Ringing cellphones in the middle of a movie theater annoy us. Cell phone recordings of University Massacres and grisly executions of dictators make the evening news. Cell phone towers and signals might be interfering with birds' migratory patterns and lowering sperm counts in men. Cell phones allow us to be productive and mobile. Cell phones can ruin political and hollywood careers (with the help of YouTube). They can save our lives. They can kill others. In Africa, the mining of tin oxide for the West's quest for more "environmentally friendly" materials to replace lead in mobile phones, has actually resulted in more violence and exploitation of the miners. The list could go on and on. I was intrigued to learn that this past year, my daughter has been using her cell phone not only to communicate with friends and family, but to create mini works of art. I do not know if she has ever thought about all these implications of the cell phone on society. But she has discovered a way to make art. Via her cell phone. The following images are what I call "mini urban-art via cell phone." By Emily

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