7a10m/e: Mobile Actions.

The pervasiveness of mobile phones make them a fertile ground for playful interventions. 30 art conference attendees agreed to perform a loose set of (un)usual acts with dummy cell phones and report on their experiences.

Mission 7a10m/e PROJECT ARCHIVE:
actionsMobile Actions

Each participant was invited to perform the scripted activities in random order for durations of about 10 minutes each. All actions could be done independent of location and time except one synchronized assignment where time and place was announced later that day by phone. This collective action brought participants together for the first time and utilized the cell phones for a playful group activity.


Group Actions

The ping pong game with cell phones evolved into a grass hockey

TOWER: Build a tower made of cell phones. Invite others to join. Height is everything.

PING PONG: Use phone as racket to play ping-pong (ball provided). Improvise a ball if needed, for example with paper.

CURLING: Lets have an iceless Curling tournament. Look out for polished floor. Congregate with other mobile users. Start the curling fun. Improvise the brooms.


Individual Actions


Max dropped his phone right before the Green Wedding...

DROP IT: Drop phone 'accidentally' while walking on open, populated conference area. Pretend not to notice the loss until 10 minutes later. Then start desperate search. Ask others to help search.

FINGER ACROBAT: Enter text message vigorously. Work the buttons like no tomorrow for 10 minutes.

CHANGE EAR: Pretend to receive a long phone call. Hold cell phone with right hand and put it on left ear. Look around you. Change the ear.

AT A DISTANCE: Place open phone 3 inches in front of you while you are seated or during yoga hour. Maintain the same distance between you and the phone during 10 minutes.

TAKEN APART: Use whatever it takes to expose the guts of the mobile (chair legs make excellent crushing tools). Then try a futile attempt to reconstruct the device, use tape (provided) if necessary. Perform all subsequent actions with reassambled phone.

HEAR ME? Pretend to answer a call. Keep asking "Can you hear me now?" Vary voice, gesture and posture.


Changing the phone from one ear to the other

WINGS: Pretend to answer a call. Hold cell phone onto right ear, lift both elbows and swing arms like angel wings. Keep going for 10 minutes.

TANKED: Drop cell phone 'accidentally' into a toilet. Ask for help to have it fished out. Flush and dry thoroughly.

BAGGED: Indulge in text messaging with mobile device hidden in your backpack, handbag, or inside your jacket. Keep going for 10 minutes.

IMPROVISED FAN: Utilize phone as a fan and sway it in front of you. If asked state that you are hot.

MIRROR: Use phone's LCD screen as mirror. Check your face and apperance thoroughly. Adjust make up, hair, collar etc.

HOLD ON: Hold the open cell phone continuously for 10 minutes in your palm while continuing whatever you do.

CORNERED: Pretend to answer a call. Position yourself standing in a corner and keep eye contact with the inside of the space. Keep listening and nodding. Change to another corner.

BALANCED: Make 'spontaneous' balance acts with your mobile: Place it on the tip of your left foot and hop with the other leg for 10 yards down the hallway. Cross the school yard with the mobile on top of your head.

CLIP'N'CLAP: Utilize flip phone as a clamp to organize your conference notes during the entire day (10 minutes in many, tiny installments).

RADIATION PREVENTION: Wrap your phone carefully in alu foil (provided). Take your time. If asked, state in all sincerity that you're part of a research program to prevent microwave radiation.


Scan pose outside of 7a10m/e happens in real life

IN SYNCH: Take out both moblies: your personal and the dummy device. Press the buttons on both for 10 minutes. Make it look synchronized and meaningful.

SCAN POSE: Pretend to answer a call. Keep eyes lively, darting around, perhaps making fleeting contact with people in the vicinity, as though they were searching for the absent face of the person to whom the call is made.

PRESENCE: Pretend to answer a call. Keep standing like thunderstruck and keep smiling. Focus the gaze on a single point, or else to gaze into the distance, as though in an effort to conjure the presence of the disembodied voice.

SLINGSHOT: Utilize phone as a slingshot with rubber band (provided). Chose targets carefully. Catapult soft and benign surprises only.

TAP: Pretend to receive a long phone call. Hold cell phone with right hand and put it on left ear. Look around you. Change the ear.

'TEXPERT': Hold the mobile in one hand at a distance, and access the keypad with the thumb. Be nimble and ambidextrous, make rapid entries.

SPACEMAKER POSE: Pretend to answer a call. Sit down on bench or chair, and draw body up, take feet off the ground and create a feeling of safety and withdrawal. Use one hand to shield your mobile and mouth from public view.


Marilyn Arsem did not actively participate in the project

FLIP FLOPPING: Flip your phone slowly open and close it. Keep going back and forward for 10 minutes.

'SHOED': Store the phone in your shoe beneath the ankle. After a minute or so take it out and pretend to ckeck for messages. Repeat this 5 times over half an hour.

RECEPTION CHECK: Pretend to answer a call. Check in anticipation with others around you if there is any reception.

PHONE STAGING: Pretend to call a friend. Start a conversation concerning the conference. Make direct references to whatever you hear and see surrounding you. Note what happens when personal and public spheres of communication of are mixed up.

PHONE SHIELDING: Embrace situations of idleness and uncertainty during the entire day: Make yourself (look) busy with phone. Be creative and playful with your mobile.

YO-YO: Utilize phone to play yo-yo (string provided). Improvise and don't give up practicing. If asked state that this is a hip thing to do.

HAPPY DOODLE: Pretend to answer a call. Pretend to listen to a long monologue for about 10 minutes (nod, roll eyes, acknowledge...). Doodle on a piece of paper.

FRENETIC CLEANING: Take tissue (provided) and polish the heck out of that mobile device. Yes, mindfully clean those hinges, hidden corners and the gaps around the buttons, too. This is your 10 minutes of meditation for today.


Building a cell phone tower is a tricky thing to do

TWO-HANDED: Pretend to write a text message. Cradle the handset in both hands. Using one finger of the other hand to access the keypad, tapping or prodding the keys with some force.

HAIRCUT PHOTOS: Find a person whose haircut you like. Ask the person to describe how to ask for this haircut and if it os OK to snap a few photos of the cool hair design. Snap a few photos of the front, the sides, and the back. Show your appreciation.

EMBELLISH: It is time to add a personal touch to your cell phone. Use the stickers (provided) and other things on hand to decorate your phone any way you want. Chose an open and crowded space to do so and invite suggestions of others.


— C R E D I T S —

Inspiration: On The Mobile — the effects of mobile telephones on social and individual life authored by Dr. Sadie Plant (Birmingham, 2001: 88 pages; commissioned by Motorola) and Nikki Pugh.

Participants: Sara Thacher, Lindsay Kelley, E.G. Crichton, Marco Rosichelli, Enrique Lopez, Phoenix Toeux, Alex Henriquez, Alyssa Salomon, Silvia Salvadori, Matthew Bryant, Scott Kildall, Gregory Sale, Naama Grossbard, Julie Perini, Dustin Ohara, Liz Rossof, Vanessa Brunet, Anna Fock, Celeyce Matthews, Venecia Buttoglia, Melissa Chevalier, Gary Wiseman, Danielle Kelly, Brad McCallum, Pawel Kwascniewski, Dan McKereghan, Lee Wen, Randy Gledhill, Adina Bar-On, Max Infeld, Lori Gordon, Aaron Gach, Natalie Loveless.

Observers: Victor Nguyen, Susan O'Malley, Emily Peet Likes, Jonathan Santos, Julie Bacon, Heather Mikolaj, Joseph Delappe, Charles Labelle, Eric Steen, Sean Yao, Arielle Conway, Miki Foster, Cassidy Mehlmann.

Props: Michael Yoo, wirelessLAND, San Francisco; MD Dundon; Danny Buskirk.

Intervene! Interrupt!
Intervene! Interrupt!
Rethinking Art as Social Practice
May 15-17, 2008

Project 7a10m/e was part of so called Low Footprint performances — works with minimal technical requirements — organized by Jamie McMurry, Natalie Loveless and Lindsay Kelley. This three-day conference and was hosted by University of California Santa Cruz hosted a month long series of interventionist exhibitions in collaboration with UCSC's Art Department; Sesnon Gallery, UCSC; the LAB, San Francisco; and the Institute of Contemporary Art, San Jose.

Interventionist practices use interruptions to question norms by using humor, surprise, and unusual associations to overturn assumptions about the world. Such practices work within societal structures to re-examine set ideas, subvert norms, map hidden systems and allow us to see and think in new ways.