Nature Calls, 2017
Framed archival inkjet print, Posca pen, Live off-site solar powered phone installation.
Mt Hay Wilderness, Blue Mountains National Park, NSW, Australia. 26/10/17 – 6/11/17
Mayers Flats, Myall Lakes National Park, NSW, Australia. 3/11/17 – 18/11/17

 

In recent years, I have been spending increasing amounts of time in wilderness locations. I have been quiet, passive, listening and learning the language of the wild, and with that, coming to understand the great loss of humanity’s connection with our earth.

Nature Calls came from a contemplation of this loss, and the factors which play a role in our increasing separation. We spend much of our time in urban environments, focused on our technological connections, forgetting to pay attention to the great wisdom of the earth which we are irrevocably a part of. Even our interactions with nature, our journeys to natural wonders, are increasingly experienced through the camera lens of a smartphone, carefully framed for maximum social media impact.

Telephones are installed directly into the wilderness, programmed to answer calls automatically. The calls can be made by anyone, from any phone. The project serves to emphasise of our disconnection from that which we are inherently part of, via the ineffectual act of trying to connect through a technological conduit. It also exists as an exercise in grieving, echoing the melancholic futility of calling a deceased loved-one’s phone to hear their voice message, and connect just one more time.

Nature’s call is quiet. It rarely raises its voice. Nature Calls asks us to return that call.

This project has been supported by Arc @ UNSW Ltd under their 2017 Art & Design Grants scheme.