About

Hangin’ on the telephone

This project began with the accidental discovery of an image of a man in the crowd at the Melbourne Cricket Ground; an image discovered, fittingly, at the Olympic Hotel in Preston, a northern suburb of Melbourne.  The photograph was of the dramatic climax of the 1500 metre men’s final of the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games.  The man in question (identity unknown) bore the uncanny, yet unmistakable countenance of someone talking on a mobile phone.  This discovery prompted an active, forensic search through the archive of visual imagery to see if there were other similar instances of this most contemporary and vernacular gesture.  The Secret Gestural Prehistory of Mobile Devices is the result of this research.

The project is ongoing, as the authors continue to seek out those unconscious, unwitting details that anticipate another place, another time and an altogether impossible, anachronistic medium.  All images detailed here were captured from their original sources with a mobile phone.

About the Authors

Lisa Gye is a lecturer in Media & Communications at Swinburne University of Technology. She is the co-editor of Illogic of Sense: The Gregory L. Ulmer Remix and the author of Halflives: A Mystory – the website and the book.
http://www.lisagye.com / lgye@swin.edu.au

Darren Tofts is Professor of Media & Communications, Swinburne University of Technology. He is the author of Memory

Trade, Parallax and Interzone and the co-editor of Prefiguring Cyberculture and Illogic of Sense: The Gregory L. Ulmer Remix.
http://www.darrentofts.net
/ dtofts@swin.edu.au

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