Over the past decade, mobile-phone cameras have changed how photographs are made, used, and looked at. While the camera once functioned chiefly as a tool for preserving the past, today people use mobile phones to share their visual experience in real time and with unprecedented intimacy. This exhibition explores what happens when artists are partnered with other artists and the pairs engage in a visual dialogue using only their phones.
The Met commissioned 12 artists to participate in the project, all of whom were asked to invite another artist to be his or her conversation partner for a five-month period. From November 2016 to April 2017, the participants sent still images and brief videos back and forth in a game of pictorial ping-pong. They were asked not to write messages or captions and to refrain from sharing their images on social media. Otherwise, the content and frequency of communication was determined by the artists themselves.