Anatomy and Art

a blog by Sara Egner


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In a couple more days, I’ll be a week into life without a cell phone.  Last Tuesday night I was either pick-pocketed or somehow dropped my cell phone.  And I have to say it’s been a novel experience.

We are so tied to our gadgets these days.  My phone wasn’t even all that fancy, it was an old Blackberry, but I’ve lost so many phone numbers, and I’m realizing just how integrated texting, and calling on the go has become to my way (and not just my way, but my culture’s way) of doing things.  I’ve realized that even with the spotty reception, being able to get a map up on my phone has been valuable to me, and I do enjoy taking the occasional picture, maybe even uploading it to Facebook. Sometimes I show paintings in progress online via that phone.

At the same time, it’s been peaceful in a way, not being so frequently frustrated with missed calls or bad reception.  I don’t loose so many moments to waiting on lag, trying to catch a signal, and trying to type out messages on such a tiny little keyboard.  My phone isn’t there to vie for my attention anymore.  And on some level, that’s been a nice break.

But, I have to do something.  I’ve spoken with the people who have my phone, and they keep stringing me along, but it doesn’t seem like they’re ever actually going to give it back.  And all of the resumes I’ve sent out have had my cell line as the contact number.  So, it’s time to get a new one. Which means I have to make a decision about upgrading into the high tech world of modern smart phones, or downgrading into a simpler phone.

And while this may all seem irrelevant for a site called Anatomy and Art, I think that it’s more relevant than you might think.  The new crop of smart phones have really become more like computers that get carried around than just phones.  With them come any number of potential merits in business, connectivity, and general usefulness.  One of my favorite applications available is that you can literally get a piece of plastic to attach to one’s phone and run a credit card through it.  Anyone who’s ever participated in an art show knows how utterly fantastic a capability this is.  And a lot has been put in to the anatomical references available on these new devices.

Still, are we trading our real connectivity with the world for a virtual one through our phones?  Or has such virtual connectivity become a necessity in modern society?  And specifically, as an artist, are we giving up our time to observe the world around us for these fancy tools and virtual reference materials?  It seems like the ideal is to have access to those tools which allow for greater capability and increased opportunities without becoming so tied to these little gadgets as to stop looking around for ourselves.  Maybe that’s the obvious conclusion, but I think it’s worth saying out loud (or typing on the web as the case may be).

Written by Sara

October 16th, 2011 at 11:04 pm

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