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Collecting Data (Off By Heart)

2021

A burner phone with speed dial to an answer machine message of the artist confessing he knows his boss's phone number better than he knows his wife's.

Seemingly a work of confession, the story only really becomes truth when we learn that the artist never actually dials his wife's number, instead pressing her speed dial option on his phone. In contrast, for work purposes Nick has memorised his bosses phone number as a way to speed up his working practice. A technological value judgement here shows up a sign of days passed by, as the artist reflects on a time where for he and his peer group knowing a phone number "off by heart" meant something special.

Once a sign of endearment and closeness it now becomes a sign of nothing more than technological pragmatism. Speed dial is what signals closeness nowadays, with knowing something off by heart relegated to the realm of oddness.