Rochester-based artist, Eric Kunsman, presents his ongoing series of photography, Life-Lines Throughout the US in Galleries 106, 107, and 115.
This body of work is a companion series to my project, “Felicific Calculus: Technology as a Social Marker of Race, Class, & Economics in Rochester, NY,” to demonstrate how communities throughout the United States are facing the same dire situation. Throughout the United States, many individuals are being left behind by technology, whether that is for communication or Internet access. Our society has become one in which you must have access to these tools to be provided support services and a job, or you are left behind, widening the gap between the lower and middle classes.
Often, this outdated technology is also used to label individuals or areas of a community where they can be found as social markers without further knowledge. The individuals I have met who still rely on payphones have stated, "I hate how people look at me like I am doing something wrong when I am using the payphone.” Those individuals have explained that they are typically calling their families to check in or for support.
My work aims to raise the following questions: how do we ensure access to basic needs for a sustainable community, such as communication, shelter, and food, without labeling those relying on support?
Why has the United Kingdom decided to save their iconic payphones, convert them to digital ones, and install other emergency necessities such as defibrillators in the red booths?
Once the payphones are gone, how will we communicate in a natural disaster similar to Hurricane Katrina & Sandy?
The payphone may be a symbol of a different era. Still, we must remember how we use technology as a social marker and often forget those individuals who cannot keep up with fundamental technological advancements.
We want YOU to show us the lifelines in your community. Take pictures of pay phones that you find and send it to us via this google form. We will print and post these images in the gallery. OR you can come to the museum and collage an image of what is essential to you or your community and print it on our Canon Selphy mini printer and hang it on the community wall.
Sunday, February 25th | 1 to 3pm
Chat with Eric Kunsman, tour the galleries, and participate in the activities. Refreshments will be served.
Members Only | 12 to 1
Monday, February 26th | 12:30 to 1:45
Plus Q&A and Gallery Tour. Refreshments will be served.
Members Only | Reserved seating, registration required.