2010, 2011, 2012, Mixed Media Sculpture (Modified telephone, MP3 player, and audio recording)

After reading through several spam e-mails I received (usually advertising Viagra), I began to notice a trend in some of the language and structure. Many of them appeared to be lengthy personal letters (suggested by subject lines of “hello friend” and “how have you been?”), but upon closer inspection were actually random and nonsensical facts or fragments strung together into paragraph form, similar to the cut-up writing technique. I began to think of these spam e-mails as personal love letters being sent to me, as if being pursued by an unknown admirer who spoke only in this language of spam. I was then inspired to create an environment that would impose these uninvited advances from the unknown caller upon the viewer. 

The piece consists of a telephone that sits on a typical side table. When the viewer picks up the receiver, they will hear a recorded telephone conversation communicated entirely in this language of spam.

“Love Letters (Language is a Virus) I”