Cellular Traces 
Arches paper, clear shipping tape, graphit powder, natural oil/grease
11.5" x 7.5"

Cellular Traces is created by collecting a face/grease print from the shiny surface of a mobile device. First, powdered charcoal is dusted as if to collect a fingerprint – a method that has been in use since the late 19th century – and then a sheet of clear adhesive is applied to the surface, lifting the charcoal and transferring the natural patterns created by a cheek, ear print or swipe of a finger to a piece of fine-art paper.

The work takes on the qualities of an abstract, sublime landscape, though remains contained in the slim rectangle with rounded corners that is the familiar shape of most smart phones. The fibrous texture of the paper contrasts the shiny surface of the tape that contains the charcoal image. The images, oriented vertically as a portrait, are the latent trace of a moment, a transaction, or an interaction with this object. The title Cellular Traces refers to both the origin of the image as a cellular device, as well as the inherent organic quality of the images that seems almost microscopic.

Installation images courtesy of O'Born Contemporary from the Romanticism Now exhibition, January 2014.