Explosions, Rainbows and the Rest is a book that has the appearance of a mobile phone user’s manual. In this book, I made Nokia 6600 the protagonist. A mobile phone is politicalized from the moment it was manufactured. First, it was assembled by underpaid and non-insured workers in a company that is involved in tax evasion. And then after it was sold, it functioned in various ways politically. It is a tool of connection, it breaks the border and connects people. Its camera democratizes the gesture of picture making and changes the way social documentary works. It can also be used to trigger improvised explosive devices and creates chaos and in a way starts revolutions in some people’s minds. To narrate its story, I use images found on photography sharing websites, inter-winded with screenshots of a Hollywood action film, news photos, and advertising images. Images on each page respond to the context accordingly. The way pictures are sequenced are non-linear, similar to the user’s manual, they are both full of montages and repetitions.
The reason why I was attracted by these photographs taken by ordinary people on their phone in early 2000 is that they are all trying to grasp fleeting moments, for example, rainbows, fireworks, blurry human faces, and the crowd after the bombing. These images are at the bottom of the visual hierarchy- they are hazy, pixelated, and nearly unrecognizable. But in my opinion, they are much more powerful and more progressive than those crispy sharp, and well-made pictures.
I am also intrigued by a kind of neutral tone that user’s manuals have. They present a beautiful vision to people, a vision of connectivity, and community in a seemingly reliable way. By juxtaposing these visions with awkward and silly everyday pictures. I try to explore the conversation between these two sides. And it triggers me thinking about the idea of past optimism and how ordinary people are dealing with the altering social landscape.
“Explosions, Rainbows and the Rest”《爆炸、彩虹和剩下的》是一本具有手机说明书外表的书,在这本书中,我将叙事的主⻆设为诺基亚6600型号手机。一部手机从被制造开始就是政治化的,它的零部件被缺乏合规保险的工人在涉及逃税的工厂组装制造。生产之后的手机在各个方面也体现着革命意义,他作为通信产品为人们创立连接,打破边界;他的照相功能将拍照这个举动⺠主化,改变了纪实摄影的方式;他也可以是远程遥控炸弹的一部分,制造混乱,完成一部分人心中的革命。我利用在网络图片分享社区上找到的图像和好莱坞动作片的截图、新闻图片以及广告图片混杂交织,虚构了诺基亚6600的故事。在叙述方式上,图像回应每一⻚说明书的内容,说明书的叙事是非线性的,充满着重复和蒙太奇, 因此这本书的图像的编排也是如此。
Che Yeh (born in Taipei, Taiwan, 1997) is an artist currently residing in Providence, Rhode Island. His work encompasses photography, installation, and video. In his work, he tries to use digital language and physical language to disrupt and interpenetrate each other. He is now a student of ICP-Bard College MFA program.