Gavin Brown's Enterprise
620 Greenwich Street, 212-627-5258
September 13 - October 11, 2008
Reception: Saturday, September 13, 6 - 8 PM
About three years ago I saw a comedian on late night television making a joke about how cellular phones are now cameras. “What will they be able to do next,” the comedian asked. “Toast bread?” I remember laughing and agreeing. Last year, charmed like a snake, by Steve Jobs, I found myself standing in line outside an Apple store waiting to buy a phone that not only took pictures but did a gazillion other things too.
Before I got my iPhone, my address book was a physical Rolodex, my iPod was an old Walkman, and I never checked my e-mail—I was a digital mess. Nate Lowman tried to teach me how to “text” once and it was so confusing that I felt like his grandpa. The iPhone changed all of that for me. I feel like I have an extra brain in my pocket now and I can send text messages like Paris. Any fact or figure that I’m grasping is seconds away. All I have to do is pull it out and click on Wikipedia.
But above all, it’s a fantastic high-tech Moleskine® for me. It is a diary for someone who doesn’t write and a sketchbook for someone who doesn’t draw. At first, I would take pictures as a record, the way you jot down ideas in a notebook—to remember stuff, visually. Then the activity became compulsive and I couldn’t stop. Just as there was no end to my life—no pause—there was always something else to record, something more to put in my digital net.
Always the art-making pragmatist, I decided to go with the flow. I was taking pictures and making art on autopilot. Wherever I go, like Uncle Andy with his wife Sony, I snap away with my phone, recording my days. I became intoxicated by the speed of image making and the patterns of sequential images that resulted. Each day’s iPhone Camera Roll would represent one long Muybridge sequence, or more apropos, like a comic book of my life, a never-ending-time capsule book.
The loves of my life rubs shoulders with the loves of others’, the poignant spread thin across this year and the next. It is as easy as blinking. Ultimately my life, my visual life, is being sucked down into my little hand-sized brain. I wish I had two—one for each hand. There is still so much more life out there. Rob Pruitt, 2008