The voices heard in this installation were collected from a series of flyers that were posted around New York City and the San Francisco Bay Area between the months of December 2007 and April 2008. The flyers, mimicking the form of the common street tear-off, contained short, nondescript statements derived from personal thoughts (for example, one set read, “I remember every word you said to me. 646-607-5550”). Public response was collected via voicemail. Every few weeks, a new set of flyers was posted hundreds of times in the same areas.
After flyering was completed, the voicemails were edited and reassembled into a new whole, creating a sonic patchwork of public response and a constructed dialogue between the participants.
The project adopts the informative and advertising medium of the flyer and replaces standard marketing rhetoric with a personal, anonymous gesture. Private thoughts are displaced into the public realm, thereby simultaneously appropriating and disrupting the existing vernacular of a visually and textually fragmented urban landscape. In a city oversaturated by information and advertisements, the public has become indifferent to the constant demand for visual consumption. With the flyers, the intent is to utilize solicitation not for self-service or promotion, but as a plea for an intimate response from the passerby. By turning the recognizable commercial object into an unexpected personal engagement, an anonymous dialogue is created between the flyer and the pedestrian, the maker and the spectator, the private and the public. The rhetoric of advertising no longer interpellates the passerby as consumer, but suggests a more familiar relationship.
By revisiting and recycling, the messages take on new meaning: they are no longer individualized reactions; they are redefined as parts of a whole. Each caller becomes a recontextualized fragment of a broader realm, extensions of personal thoughts in a universal forum.
On Display @ UnionDocs || April 18th & 19th