I’m one of those people—there are still a few of us left—who adamantly refuses to carry a cell phone. I had one in the late 90s for about a year, but I dropped it on a marble floor and didn’t replace it until 2007 during a period where I was traveling a lot. And that one is just a flip. It’s also never charged and I really have to hunt for it when I need it.
I simply don’t like the idea of anyone being able to reach me wherever I am. If I’m out in the world, or having lunch with someone or driving, I don’t want to take a phone call. My email can wait. I will not be texting anyone or Instagramming my selfies from the vegan food truck. All of it can wait until I get home.
I know it’s very… 1989 of me, but I honestly just don’t care. It’s not even that I am particularly anti-cell phones or anything, it’s that I personally do not require one.
Brooklyn-based art prankster/beatmeister Tim Fite is a man after my own heart. Realizing he had a “codependent” relationship with his smartphone he designed a glass iPhone replica called “The Phoney” to wean himself off the always on, constantly-updating datastream he was addicted to. Kind of like an e-cigarette that doesn’t have any nicotine. Or any battery for that matter.
Fite’s new project takes it further: iBeenHACKED is social commentary in the form of a musical concept album and art installation investigating the ways that the digital teet intrudes upon our daily lives and alters the way we live. The project includes a limited edition series of handmade glass “Phonies” and the taking over of a Brooklyn storefront that was turned into a giant smartphone and art studio, then gallery space. For the album, rather than try to sell CDs or downloads, Fite tried some alternative strategies to monetize his work such as the sale of advertising between songs and personal shout-outs. The songs lampoon online “liking” (“Like”), smartphone addiction (“Check Yo Cell”), the cult of Apple products (“Big Mac”), binge-watching (“4 Seasons”) and more.
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