c u on tuesday

2010

On January 15, 2010 at 9:05pm the patrons of Asheville, North Carolina were engaged in order to recruit them as participants in this project. The methods of approach varied widely. Without a clear and overarching idea or statement of intent, the process of describing the project and convincing people to participate evolved organically.

The original premise of the piece was to organize 1 hour’s worth of text messages from 30 participants, chosen at random, to be sent to the phone of one of our professors, Mark Koven. The approach to gathering this time was non-linear because we broke the hour into two sets of actions. The first consisted of selling the idea to the participant, which we approximated to take one minute. We allotted the second minute for the person to send the text message.

The goal was to initiate a series of performative and interactive scenarios, involving the participants, their cell phones and us. The interactive components were intended to be humorous in nature, but developed into a critical mass when directed towards a single cell phone. By employing the use of technology and by taking 2 minutes from 30 people, we were able to compound the power of the allotted hour as well as compress the space between the sender and the recipient. The accumulation of texts in such a short amount of time resulted in an interruption of the phone’s normal use until the last text message at 1:12am.

While technology is intended to heighten efficiency of communication, we used it in a somewhat destructive and wasteful manner to subvert the function of text messaging and to question how much time people spend sending texts. Despite the fact that we did not throw the participants a party, feed them, or even buy them a beer, we greatly appreciate the help and cooperation of everyone involved. In regards to maintaining a humorous approach to the project, the recipient of the text messages, Mark Koven, was chosen based on the juvenile notion of two kids prank calling their teacher, except doing so within the popular trend of texting.

Note: Three participants did not want their photograph taken, hence the 27 photos.

To view internet documentation and a map of the area covered, click here.

“C U on Tuesday” was a collaboration between Steve Spurgeon and Jason Adams.