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This Is a Long Distance Call

Phone Art Box Project

This Is a Long Distance Call

64 Highland Avenue, Somerville

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"While finishing up the installation of this piece, I had a conversation with a four-year old who happened by. "What's this?" he asked, pointing to the cow. I told him and then asked, "Did you know that Somerville used to have lots of cows? Somerville used to be mostly farms, and had cows all over the place. They used to be really important here." "I went to a farm once!" he exclaimed, his eyes wide while he asked his grownup if she had seen cows here.
I created the installation referencing color pencil sketches I made recently in Wyoming. The phone lines across the countryside felt to me like Ariadne's thread, connecting me who have spent all my life living in large cities, to another world, intertwined, and yet too, so separate. We have to remember every day how farms and farmers, cities and technology-- we're all interdependent and interconnected.
Maybe some day electricity will be generated more locally and not need so much wire to transmit. Sooner than that, phone lines will go away, as we switch to cell technology. Already the idea of a "pay-phone" is all but meaningless.
This piece is a scrap-book of sorts, connecting far away places and times.  This is a long distance call." --Rachel Mello