Few people would doubt at this point that cell phones are fully integrated into modern society, but if there was any doubt on that point, a new art exhibit in New Mexico should put paid to it. Termed ‘Escape’ by its creators, Anthony Goh and Neil Mendoza, the artwork is a sculpture primarily made up of pieces of recycled cell phones. The pieces are ingeniously cobbled together to resemble birds, and even have faces made from the screens of cell phones, each one portraying a bird’s face.
The artists responsible for the piece hail from the UK and they actually intended the sculpture to be amazingly interactive. When connected to a European cell phone operator, the birds are able to not only make phone calls of their own, but also to answer them. Here in the United States, however, interactivity is somewhat more limited. The birds merely react when individuals approach them closely, something that happens frequently since the sculpture itself is so intriguing.
‘Escape’ could be seen at the 2012 ISEA conference held in Albuquerque. The theme of the conference was ‘Machine Wilderness’, which seems entirely appropriate given the artwork in question.
Individuals who want to recycle their used and unwanted cell phones, of course, have much better options than to toss them on a scrap heap and hope that an inspired artist someday uses them in forward-thinking artwork. Instead, cash for cell phones is a real possibility, particularly now that it has become so easy to recycle cell phones online.