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Your Art is Calling (On a Smartphone)

by Gail Sachson 8 Apr 2013 3:52 PM

Now that iPhones and Androids are becoming ubiquitous, guest blogger Gail Sachson writes about the advantages of taking one to your next arts outing.


Gail Sachson owns Ask Me About Art, offering lectures, tours, program planning and consultation. Join her on Sunday to tour the Dallas Art Fair. 

I now have a smart phone, like most of you out there. I just got mine this week. I play Words With Friends. I scan. I text. And I ask Siri for directions. Don’t be misled – I discarded my flip phone not because of the taunts and jeers of colleagues, friends and strangers and not  because of the fuzzy photos, but because I wasn’t able to be part of the excitement of the current art scene without a smartphone.

Visitors whip out their smartphones to participate in the Deep Ellum Empty Walls installation. Photo: Gail Sachson

Without a smartphone, I would not have been able to:

  • Decipher the Deep Ellum Empty Walls installation of Laura Theobald’s 99 Poem(s). it was curated by Justin Ginsberg with Jeff Gibbons through their collaborative Apophenia Underground.  Ninety-nine black and white QR codes printed on paper were plastered horizontally in a long row on the side of an empty building. The poetic blurbs could be read in any order, but only if you had a phone that could scan the codes. The temporary installation held the magic of a participatory performance piece, coupled with  the entertaining elements of a game and the rewards of a pithy phrase or word. No phone. No poem. No fun.
  • Fully engage with the bewitching Cindy Sherman show at the Dallas Museum of Art. The smartphone tour is BYO phone. It includes an audio tour by Sherman and the MOMA curators who organized the show, as well as videos with art notables sharing commentary.
  • Join the fun of posting photos of myself at local art events during the Dallas Art Week photo contest (April 7-14). Mayor Mike Rawlings is encouraging everyone to post self-portraits to social media sites, for which you can possibly win prizes while supporting the arts.

If you bike to Deep Ellum to see the next Empty Walls installation and have bike trouble, you can make a pit stop at the  recently opened Deep Ellum Foundation, sponsored Bike Emergency Station. Bike tools are tethered to a post there, but  now that I have my phone, I could scan the QR code also on the pole and view a  tutorial video of  how to make the repairs.

But best of all … I’m winning at Words With Friends.