Monday, November 12, 2007

Keitai Girl

I'm attaching a link to one of my favorite art works by Noriko Yamaguchi titled Keitai Girl. For the piece, Yamaguchi created a body suit from cell phone keypads and also wears a pair of large headphones that are connected to an actual cell phone. During her performance, certain viewers are given her number/the number of her bodysuit and can call and speak to her. Here is a larger image of Keitai Girl.

Many theorists speak about cellular phones as extensions of the hand or the self. Rafael refers to this convergence of person and phone as a mania, noting "The insistence on having cell phones nearby, the fact that they always seem to be on hand, indicates an attachment to them that surpasses the rational and the becomes an apparatus for sending and receiving messages at all times" (405). In Finland, the word for cell phone is känny which is a "diminutive form of 'hand'" (Rheingold 12). In Sweden (cute as well as interesting), the word for cell phone is nalle which translates to teddy bear. The full term was originally 'yuppie teddy bear,' referring to the cost and status signaling role of cell phones int he 1980s. Today the term has been shortened to teddy bear, referencing the dependency of users on their mobiles - like children with their teddy bears or blankies. Yamaguchi's literal interpretation of the self/phone is a visually alluring interpretation of the future of the cellular phone and its interactions with the human body.

No comments: