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The cell phone, seemingly ubiquitous in our culture, has become increasingly powerful -- first phone, then PDA, then browser, now camera, etc. In the case of Cell Tagging, the phone becomes a remote control that will allow the user to dial, speak, and draw. The mobile phone occupies a space that is both connecting and distancing.

The normal interfaces of the gallery and the computer are removed, replaced by another technology that is familiar, but not as a drawing tool or art artifact. By calling a number, viewers will be asked to dial in a zip code/city code that means something to them. The aerial map of that place will pop up on the screen. They will then be asked to speak into the phone and say why that place is meaningful. Using the keypad as a kind of pencil, users can draw in a continuous line that moves depending on the number key pressed; for example, the number 2 will draw upwards. They can then save their piece, and others will be able to view it as well in an online database.

I am interested in making the viewers aware of the control that cell phones give them by requiring their use to enact the piece. I feel that cell phones redraw space and our relationship to it. As opposed to the land-line phone, which exists in one place, the cell exists every place we are. Cells are disruptive to those around, as the cell-speaker ignores where s/he is, and is transported into his/her conversation. The cell-speaker makes every place his/her own, graffiting the sound-space of an area. With Cell Tagging, I am attempting to literalize that act of marking.


Brooke A. Knight is an artist and educator who has been working with digital media for a dozen years. He has exhibited in over 40 international and regional shows, including The Danforth Museum, Photographic Resources Center, Mediaterra 2001, and Experimenta 02.  His current areas of interest include webcams, the landscape, and text in all forms.  His written work has been published in Art Journal and Sandbox.  He earned an MFA from CalArts in 1995 in photography, and is now an Assistant Professor in the Department of Visual and Media Arts at Emerson College, where he teaches classes in interactive media.

programming assistance:

Ian Westcott graduated from Emerson College in 2006 with a Bachelor's degree in New Media. Originally from Rhode Island, he considered Massachusetts to be a suitable broadening of his horizons at the time. Currently, Ian works at The Barbarian Group in Boston, where he holds the split job title of Developer/Information Technology Manager. He was kind of hoping for a plus sign instead of the slash, but it never made it onto his business cards, and he's still a little upset about it. When he's not busy learning all there is to know about Linux and Ruby on Rails, Ian maintains a number of hobbies, such as eating, riding trains, and collecting grocery store discount cards. His web site is


Cell Tagging is a 2006 commission of New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc., (aka Ether-Ore) for its Turbulence web site. It was made possible with funding from the LEF Foundation.

additional funding from the Emerson College Faculty Fund Advancement Grant and Huret Grant.

technology by Locamoda, "Making the Web More Local".