In an age of Web 2.0, affective technologies and social media, some older technologies are continuing to persist as meaningful parts of everyday life. In particular, SMS (Short Messaging Service) continues to be deployed in both developed and developing contexts—playing a significant role in maintaining intimate co-presence. While much of the attention SMS has gained is via media conflations of ‘youth’ and ‘new’ media as subversive, another (unspoken) history of SMS is the role it has played in the deaf community.
Amongst the multiple histories, SMS etiquette has always involved the ephemeral, compressed and abbreviated. New applications such as Twitter can be read as an extension of the emerging temporal grammars of SMS, just as SMS can be mapped onto traditions around intimate co-presence such as the postcard and letter writing. CU attempts to snapshot some of the transitory emotional vernaculars surrounding SMS.
For the project CU, SMS messages were collected from users worldwide along with a description about how the user felt about their message. Hjorth made an image to correspond with these emotional states and feelings. The SMSs and images are presented together—fleeting moments of sadness, love and friendship.
For a short clip of CU, click here
Exhibited in CCP's Night Projection Window
7 nights a week after dark
Centre for Contemporary Photography
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Seven nights after dark