Blog Post


This looks like a posting to my blog.

It isn?t.

It is catalogue copy for an exhibition by Australian multimedia artist Larissa Hjorth.

I met Larissa in Tokyo. She was making wonderful photographs of cell phones lovingly decorated by kids.

Keitai in Japanese.

Now she sends me an email. About SMS. Turned into art.

I?ve not seen her show, but she emails that she is using SMS text messages from all over the world.

She is collecting the precious ones, the Texts people have saved.

The SMS people cannot bear to delete.

To delete.

To delete.


(I look at the text message, I think it?s over, I should delete it now. It's time. I save it. And then it returns again later. A haunting.)


It is time.

Actually, the ?I? caught parenthetically is a fiction. I?ve never actually saved a text message. Not one. But many years ago, when answering machines were still New Media, my best friend called to say goodbye before he fell into a coma with AIDS. I jumped on a plane, flew to NY, sat with other friends at his still bedside, holding his hand. ?He needs you to leave so he can pass,? a nurse whispered. We left.

The message from Dean stayed saved on my answering machine.

When I gave the machine away, Dean's parting message went too.


Where did it go?

The machine.

The message.


My friend.

Good Will. Ripe for thrifting.

Hjorth takes the leavings of New Media and honors them. AfterImage and AfterLife of Texting. Terse affect, silent soundings. LOL.

Wikipedia tells us that SMS stands for Short Message Service.

It is a ?commications protocol allowing the interchange of short text messages between mobile telephone devices.?

What is the protocol (long or short) of deletion?

SMS is ?the most widely used data application on the planet, with 2.4 billion active users, or 74% of all mobile phone subscribers sending and receiving text messages on their phones.?

And sometimes, we learn from Larissa Hjorth, saving.

Hjorth asks SMS?ers around the world to paint a verbal, visual, or textual picture of the feelings and emotions of the Textings they salvage and hoard.

She makes a snapshot of their work.

And a video of the snapshots.

Multimedias of joy, love, loss, remembrance, celebration, memorial, commemoration, passing on, transforming.



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Special thanks to Flickr community member Atif(Xploiter) for this image. For full documentation and more of this photostream, please click on the image.


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