This Saturday, June 4th: Devon Watson presents Hand Heart Eye Phone, a workshop on the contemporary smart phone

Posted by on Jun 1, 2016 in Alumni News, Events, VCS Alumni | No Comments

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This Saturday, VCS alumna Devon Watson is hosting Hand Heart Eye Phone, a one day workshop on the history and cultural impact of smart phones that will take place at the Lower East Side Ecology Center. Here’s a description of the event from its listing on Eventbrite:

Artist Devon Watson presents, Hand Heart Eye Phone, a workshop that focuses on the contemporary smart phone.

This workshop will cover a short history of the contemporary smart phone, the impact of phone camera usage on self-documentation and the art historical perspectives of that documentation on identity. Watson will also discuss the inherent problems of smart phones. These include issues related to their manufacture and disposal, the use of conflict materials and the lifecycle of those materials after disposal.

There will be a practical demonstration of how to change an iPhone and Samsung Galaxy screen. This demonstration works to emphasize and dismantle the aura of impassive authority that Apple, Samsung and other companies have come to hold and our own sense of separateness from our personal devices.

When Saturday, June 4, 2016 from 1:30 PM to 3:30 PM (EDT)

Where Gowanus E-waste Warehouse – 469 President Street, Brooklyn, NY 11215


 

In an e-mail to me about Hand Heart Eye Phone, Devon included the following brief comment about the LES Ecology Center and the two images presented below, which are from the Center’s Facebook page.

The center could be an incredible resource for artists using electronics, devices, domestic appliances, hardware or recyclable materials. The possibilities are really endless, and this would be one of the best times to familiarize yourself with the center and introduce yourself as an artist. Please come by if you’re interested in the center as a resource or in learning more about contemporary e-waste.

She also provided the following additional information about the workshop, all of which is excerpted from her original event proposal to the LES Ecology Center:

Participants will learn a short history of the contemporary smart phone, including: the personal and cultural impacts of the smart phone in particular regarding its camera function, its capabilities for connectivity to media and its impact on self-documentation. In turn, we’ll discuss the art historical perspective of that documentation on art practice and larger issues of identity.

We will also discuss the uses and inherent problems of smart phones, including issues relating to their manufacture and disposal, the use of conflict materials and the lifecycle of those materials after disposal.

There will also be a short description of the LES Ecology Center, its central mission,* and its process regarding the life and after-life of cell phones and mobile technologies.

There will be a practical demonstration of how to change an iPhone and Samsung Galaxy screen. We will not be able to accept phones for repair simply because of time and labor restrictions; this will simply be a verbal and visual how-to of basic screen change, so that participants will hopefully feel more adept at attempting the practice at home. It will be made clear that this is an “at-your-own-risk” process

The change of the screen relates to our discussion because of the aura of impassive authority that Apple, Samsung and other companies have come to hold, and our own sense of separateness from our personal devices. In learning to change a screen, the participants will take the first step in acknowledging their true relationship to their phones, and piercing the veil of sacrality that devices hold in our private daily lives.

*Editor’s note: Here’s a relevant statement from the LES Ecology Center’s Instagram account: “The Ecology Center offers free electronic waste recycling, public compost collection and education, and stewardship of public open spaces.”

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Visual & Critical Studies