Art today is fighting a losing battle in promoting the idea of “Presence”. The linear history of art is a story of endless shifting skirmishes driven by passion, conducted to identify art as a form that exists as a physical entity, something to be experienced. Yet we have now been on the threshold of achieving singularity for about a decade and still primal artistry persists. “Call Me”, with its dull wooden "Dummy" Smart Phones, continues that losing battle in its insistence that “presence” is important for art and society. We have always identified ourselves with either a tribe or a nation, a survival mechanism so to speak. Despite the new technology's offer of our ultimate liberation from groupthink, we are again seduced back into alignment: a psycho tribal alignment. The promise of technology invites us into a world driven by algorithms, where we all accept the menu of limitations; likes, 140 characters, notifications and palm sized panoramas. We then assume a familiar posture, exhibiting dulled reflexes and a limited range of motion as we sink more completely into the virtual. “Call Me”, with its schematic color duality and lifeless medium, alerts us toward a national alignment, while frustrating our desire for connectivity. It is unclear what an actual phone call would bring, for talking is old school, too direct, uncomfortably in the present. As an artist I am on the other end, waiting for a voice, harking back to a more innocent time when oral tradition, experience and presence were all we had.
Kenny Cole October 2015