As text messaging has proliferated, it was only a matter of time before some tech-savvy artist figured out a way to integrate the power of SMS into a piece of art. Enter TXTUal Healing:
TXTUal Healing is an interactive public theater piece. It looks at the cell phone as a device not just to remove oneself from a physical space, but to interact with and explore it.
Using 'always on' technology, cell phones with SMS allow an audience to interact with public space through projections on the structures that surround us, like the facade of a building for instance. The Speech bubbles are positioned near windows and doors to encourage an audience to create the conversations happening inside. The public audience receives a flyer with a cell number and simple instructions. A participant sends a text message to the provided phone number and it is then displayed inside the speech bubble. Multiple bubbles may be used and the audience can direct their input to a specific bubble.
The piece explores the use of mobile technology to trigger dialogue, action and create content for a staged public performance. By using the facade of a building the intention is to engage an audience to think about the physical spaces we move through, live in and share. I'm trying to address public vs. private space and what kind of dialogue might transpire if we shared out private thoughts. The piece was designed to encourage play, idea sharing, thought, discourse, and entertainment.
Some cool examples:
- Graffiti in the style of the famous Jesus Saves, on the sides of Brooklyn apartment buildings.
- An interactive, text-bubbled Last Supper: One Of Your Will Betray Me
- And, in a cool juxtaposition of the past and the present, text messages projected on the walls of the Roman Coliseum.