Phoning-In the Good Times

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We love and hate our cell phones like annoying siblings or parts of our bodies, and when we discard and replace them, the act is often accompanied by a pang of loss. That conflicted psychological relationship to our little digital appendages forms the basis for a new body of work by Joe McKay on view at Brooklyn's VertexList September 7 through October 7. His Hacked Cell Phone Sculptures lovingly resurrect outmoded and abandoned mobile phones as components in imaginative contraptions, splaying out Nokia guts and reconstituting them as everything from telegraph devices to a keyboard-based instrument. The neglected machines enjoying a new life are joined by the video/performance work Sunset Solitare and a series of manipulated photographs, titled UFO 1-7. During the September 7 opening, the artist also offers a demonstration of his 'Cell Phone Piano' that could make one misty-eyed for an unhinged flip phone or long-forgotten ringtone.