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Cell Phone Cell

Artist Mocks Tech Addictions

— November 18, 2007 — Art & Design
Talking on your phone in public is rude, disruptive and disrespectful... but we all do it. With that in mind, artist Nick Rodrigues built the Cellbooth headpiece for mobile phone owners who like to speak in public, to function as a privacy shield or quarantine box.

"The sculptures that I make are my way of talking about the issues we all see but cannot necessarily change," the artist writes on his site.

"I'm interested in the way that humans relate with one another, and how technology and innovation can dramatically affect these interactions. Often the acceptance of new products into our lives is so subtle that it goes unnoticed, and yet it alters our experience in profound ways. My pieces highlight the discrepancies between what is, what has been, and what could be normal."

On the subway, no one wants to hear your inquiry call to find out what really happened last night (after glass number 8, the details got blurry) and why you awoke to a man in a red silk robe and the hairiest chest you've ever seen. Not only are people not interested, you risk offending innocent old ladies and children who could be listening in.

And gents, other ladies don't want to hear you fight with your girlfriend. After all, if you really are breaking up, you don't want any potential candidates to think you're an intolerant, insensitive jerk right off the bat, do you?

The list goes on, but basically, the concept behind the quarantine box is fantastic, the design is just horrendous. The beauty of inventions is their ability to inspire other innovators, and I could see this design having that effect.

Other pieces by Rodrigues include the Rock On stone iPod sculpture, the Port-a-Party, a portable toilet shaped like an iPod, and a car shaped headpiece, worn by a customer abiding by traffic in a grocery aisle.