Natalie So

Interview by Quincy Bock

Quincy Bock: Is this project the result of the proposal for your tutorial with Professor Killip?

Natalie So: My original proposal was actually about social networking and how technology effects people so I didn’t have the phone idea when I went into it, but I was already interested in those kinds of issues.

QB: How did you come up with the idea to have the two phones?

NS: I feel like especially here at Harvard, people are very attached to their phones.  I am especially interested in the expression people have when they are talking on their phone. So the whole idea with the two phones is that I wanted this meta-cycle that was powered completely by the phones.  In the end, they are just talking to themselves.  Which makes it a really stupid thing in the end.  It questions what the phone is even for and what makes it different from just talking to the person.

QB: Explain how you chose the pictures in each of the two grids.

NS: I chose them not so much about first and second as just being juxtaposed.  At the Roni Horn exhibit, there is this one part with her niece in two different photographs that I really liked.  There is a physical movement where you have to look back and forth to compare and I sort of wanted to take that idea.  To me, there is that tension of being aware of people’s expressions while they’re on the phone because they are dazed and they don’t have that sort of awareness. The expressions caught in a moment are the ones that we don’t really take notice of but when you have to compare one to another that is when you really begin to notice what their expressions are when they are talking on the phone.

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