digital image, 16914 x 10461px
TVs from Craigslist, 2009 – ongoing
TVs from Craigslist is an ongoing project that comprises images of the screens of TVs for sale I’ve found on Craigslist. I download the images, crop all but the screen, and enlarge to the scale of the TV. Although these images are purely utilitarian, taken only to sell a TV, they all have embedded in them the subjectivity and individuality of the photographer/seller. The inadvertent reflections of the sellers and their spaces become the subject within the dark screens of their unwanted used- TV’s for sale. There we see gestures of intimate and private exposure, various states of undress, unmade beds, dirty laundry – all accessible to an entirely anonymous public.
TVs from Craigslist (screen version), is the entire accumulation since 2009 of these images as I search on Craigslist for new installations. For each unique iteration I add the new images I find to the ongoing collage, marking the new total number of images and the date I’ve added them. Extending out from the center, over time, this work tracks the changing technology of both the screen and the camera. The behavior of camera flashes and reflections on the varying surfaces of the screen has shifted dramatically since 2009. And as camera technology becomes more sophisticated, flashes are less necessary and the thumbnail images on Craigslist have become larger, containing more information, revealing greater detail.
On Craigslist these images are very small: it’s likely that the seller has no idea that he or she is pictured there. But thinking about the absence of intimacy that the internet fosters, I can’t help thinking there’s a subconscious undercurrent of exhibitionism here; a desire for connection. Going from city to city on Craigslist in search of TVs has at times felt a little voyeuristic. But Craigslist is public space – I’m virtually being invited into people’s living-rooms and bedrooms to look at the TV they want to sell, and there they are with their unmade beds, sometimes completely naked, reflected in the surface of a TV they no longer want. It’s kind of sad really because at one time the TV was the center of the family room. Now rejected, this last picture of it holds on to a little ghostly image of its owner who doesn’t want it…. Or, the ghostly image is forever stuck in the machine its owner rejects.