Continuing my research on systems of communication, I have been photographing cell tower trees using my father’s Rolleiflex camera. During the COVID-19 pandemic, my husband, Tony and I went on day trips to find and photograph cell phone towers and sites of industrial abuse. Disguised as trees, the cell towers exemplify our need for the convenience of internet service everywhere, and satisfy our desire for the infrastructure to be hidden. Camouflaged to blend in, they are silent witnesses to our lives. Through private company apps on cell phones, our movements and digital interactions are extracted and sold. Metadata mining is the collection and trading of our personal data. From the analog source I scan the negatives, making photopolymer plates to print a romantic portrait of each tree. In the Here/Hear series I incorporate letterpress polymer text messages and GPS data, suggesting how our movements and attention are transformed into digital currency.
Photopolymer gravure, letterpress photopolymer on Hahnemuhle and Rives BFK, 15" x 11"