The ubiquitous mobile device

Making Contact - 2009

Making Contact - 2009

Mobile devices (what we used to call cell phones) seem to be everywhere and sometimes may isolate us as much as bring us together. The image above from San Juan, Puerto Rico, will be part of an exhibition at the Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts titled “Daily Strife” (opening on October 16). The exhibit commemorates Virgin Islands – Puerto Rico Friendship Day, and its theme is our common experiences and responses to the chaos and rapid change of modern life.

While mulling over the theme of the exhibition, I saw the woman below — a cruise ship tourist — studying her mobile device while walking through the grounds of the historic fort in Frederiksted. She hurried out to where the cannons were placed so she could have her picture taken with the ship in the background. I wondered if she even saw the fort.

Doppelganger - 2009

Doppelganger - 2009

12 Comments on “The ubiquitous mobile device

  1. These are beauties, Don…the first one is simply gorgeous…I would say the same of the second but her back leg seems a bit wonky to me. Maybe it’s on purpose but it distracted me away from the reflective colors and her hat! She looks like she is gliding through her own reflection as well as life.

  2. Nice images. I just don’t get the fascination with mobiles. I’ve noticed that just about everyone in Italy drives with one glued to their ear.

    The cruise ship woman is a classic. Instead on enjoying what she is experiencing she’s checking out a vacuous device probably hoping for a vacuous SMS

  3. Pat, thanks so much for your appreciation and advice! I agree about the foot/shoe being distracting, and have removed it from the original. That was one of several things “wrong” with the image that I purposefully left in to give it a subtle feeling of unreality. But distraction is not what I was aiming for. I initially felt the first piece was a little too simple. But it has grown on me, and in a larger size print has some lovely textures, colors and transparencies that make it work even better than on the screen.

    Razzbuffnik, you and me both on the mobiles. For me they are a necessary (sometimes) evil, and I’m one of those luddites who rarely carries a cell phone. Thanks for taking the time to comment, even while on your fabulous travels!

  4. ‘making contact’ has a feeling like a vermeer painting with the softness of light. while the color and concept r of present times. i especially saw the play in balance with the colors, the blue stripe in the middle and the translucent feel of the right side wall that meets her profile. the orangegold at left, superb rich greys

    i like the quirky motion in ‘doppelganger’, the ‘music’ of that movement – it seems to evoke lightness and movement in the fabric, super real in a sense. when a figure is moving, or flowing in a dress my eye follows fluidly while perhaps cognitive sharp focus and details emerge through the process. so when an image painting alights on that matter it presents to me the surprise of seeing that process reflected back from the image. super real, or more real than photorealism, if that makes any sense

  5. tipota, thanks so much! You have said it all very well (no surprise there!). The blue stripe and translucent wall are my favorite elements of “Making Contact”. And your description of how you see “Doppelganger” is just perfect. Thanks!

  6. Do people still wear those hats? I thought they were only in old movies and at special horse races.
    I could be wrong; I usually am.

    I’m planning to do some stem cell phone research soon … or maybe not.

  7. Oh, planetross. They do still wear those hats, believe it or not. But no one that I know. Are stem cell phones the ones permanently attached with the little blue flashing lights?

  8. Don- the woman on the top looks so isolated and holed up. That phone appears to be her only companion. The grey, neutral colors seem to heighten the starkness of her life.
    How did they become so ubiquitous? Have we all reached the pinnacle of self importance that the one time beeper for the heart surgeon on call is now archaic.
    We’re to assume that we’re ALL that vital?

    Sometimes I choose not to even take my camera in order to avoid the very thing that the gal in the bottom photo seems to be involved in. And that’s appreciating the view without trying to do something with it.

    I will add though, that as a tourist, her attire stirs some pride in me for not having to apologize for elastic waist sweat pants and jogging shoes.
    She’s as my mother used to say ” out of the bandbox “.
    Don’t know exactly what that means except she looks swell.

  9. Hey, thanks, Bonnie!
    I agree that young lady #1 looks isolated up there, except for her phone. And lady #2, fashionable as she was, seemed very preoccupoied with her device. Her boyfriend/husband/partner was also dressed in sharp fashions with a white hat (no lie!) — only he had a video camera through which he was seeing the world.
    Sometimes i worry that I’ve just become an old fuddy-duddy who doesn’t understand…

  10. both are wonderful…. and i especially like the double image of the leg of the second… a wonderful effect….
    i am not a big fan of mobile phones and rarely use mine (use it only for emergencies) as i do prefer face to face communication…. blogs are an exception though:)) r.

  11. One can always expect thoughtful, critical, or philosophical comments on your blog. How nice! Artistically, both pictures are wonderful.” Making contact” is so striking, I would love to have it on my wall. You have just the right balance of warm tones in the skin and on the side wall. Great energy in the greens and reds in image 2. I can’t even begin to get into the mobile devise comments and their negative effects on society. The more we have, the more separate we are from one another and our surroundings. Exactly what your images show us.

  12. Thanks rahina! I made a modification to the second picture, keeping the double image but making it less distracting.

    Caterhine, I appreciate your comments so much! Thanks!

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