When cell phone cameras first came out, I saw an opportunity to directly interact with my audience. Instead of putting an exhibition up on a wall, I could make photographs for individuals with my cell phone and send directly to them. Starting in 2006, I began a project to do just that. Loosely based on fortune telling, I presented myself as an oracle and artist who would take photographs for callers that, theoretically, answer their personal question. For six years, people called me from all over the world with their questions. Works from the project have been exhibited in museums and galleries and a book was published, a collections of ‘readings’ from 2006-2012.
How can I get a reading?
I only take calls one day a month – the last Monday of each month. If you would like a reading, call me on my cell phone – 404-692-0766. If you reach me, I’ll review the process with you. Once we end the call, I’ll need you to purchase the $10 fee either by Venmo (I’m Beth-Lilly-1) or Paypal (firstname.lastname@example.org) or through the Services page on the website. While you’re doing that, I’ll be finding and making three photographs just for you. Once I confirm receipt of payment, I’ll text your photographs to you and then you reply back with your question. If I don’t answer, I’m busy making photos for another caller. Just give it about 10 minutes and try again. It only takes me 30 minutes or less to make and text the photos for a caller.
What kind of questions?
People ask about everyday concerns such as relationships, their career, their children. Some ask philosophical questions about life and death. What doesn’t work are questions that ask for a specific time or place, such as “when should i quit my job?” or “what numbers should I play in the lottery?” What if I sent you a photo of a fish? It just doesn’t work. A better question would be, “How can I best resolve my concerns at work?” And remember, I’m an artist, not a soothsayer. The images are meant to help us gain perspective or realize our real feelings, not dictate actions.
Callers Are Always Anonymous
All callers remain anonymous and no names are ever used. The readings are only identified by the date and time of call. I do post the photographs and questions on Instagram and the really interesting “readings” might be added to my portfolio or be printed for exhibition. Again – no names. After your reading, if you’d like help analyzing your images, you can book me for a phone consultation. And if you’d like a print of your reading, you can purchase an 8″ x 17″ fine art print – signed!
As far as we can tell, people have always used divination to gain insight into issues in their lives. All systems of divination depend on random chance. With the I Ching, it’s tossing coins or sticks, with Tarot cards, it’s shuffling a deck. For my project, it’s all about where I happen to be when you happen to call me. It’s a random connection between you and me in time and space. That’s why you have to keep you question secret from me until AFTER you get your images. The photographs I make have to be random and if I know your question, that knowledge would inevitably alter what I photograph.