Private internet chat conversations, harvested from local coffee shops, are reprinted on paper hand towels.
This artistic work, which appears to be a common paper towel dispenser, was designed for installation in a public restroom or wash area. When an individual approaches the towel dispenser with intent to dry his hands, he will be faced with an unexpected choice. After advancing and tearing the towel from the dispenser, he will notice fine black text of varying densities printed on his paper hand towel. Further inspection will reveal printed secrets, found Internet chat conversation, short stories, personal e-mails and other bits of private communication. Hands dripping, his mundane routine interrupted, he will consider the messages on the towel and quickly grant or deny them value. Will he preserve the towel for its aesthetic and informative qualities, perhaps only preserving its potential value to someone else, or will he use his towel for its common purpose and rapidly discard it? The act of harvesting and employing text that is intended for a single (or perhaps no) viewer and subsequently displaying it in a public space requires an un-apathetic response from the participant. The participant is obligated to confront questions of value surrounding these seemingly private conversations, particularly the value or disposability of the volume of private conversations that fill the virtual space of the Internet.
Developed with collaborator Jes Schrom