The Oracle @ Wifi.
Photographs by Beth Lilly.
Kehrer Verlag, Heidelberg, 2012. 112 pp., 135 color illustrations, 7½x10¾".
Signed copies available!
»What could an artist do with a cell phone camera?« This is the question artist Beth Lilly asked herself and her answer became an ongoing participatory art project. Loosely modeled on divination, she uses her cell phone to make photographs in exchange for a caller’s questions. On the seventh day of every month when her cell phone rings, she stops whatever she’s doing and answers the phone. The person on the other end (usually a stranger) says, »I want a reading.« Lilly replies, »OK, but don’t tell me your question yet, just give me your email address.« Her location when she receives a call is her starting point for intuitionally finding and shooting three photographs in fairly rapid succession. She emails these to the callers who reply and re- veal their question.
Each combination of text and photos creates surprising results that range from sarcastic to humorous to profound. Interpreting the »readings« each person arrives at entirely different meaning, suggesting an endless number of possible narratives. This book compiles the most interesting results from hundreds of calls Lilly received from people around the world.