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This book compiles the best of Beth Lilly's ongoing cell phone camera art project where she trades photos for secret questions. Read more

Atlanta, GA Art Books
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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on May 6, 2011.

This book compiles the best of Beth Lilly's ongoing cell phone camera art project where she trades photos for secret questions.

Atlanta, GA Art Books
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About this project

I have a contract with German fine art book publishers Kehrer Verlag to publish a compilation of photographic pieces from my performance art project, "The Oracle @ WiFi".  I started this project over four years ago as a way to use cell phones cameras to connect directly with individuals and really interact with them in the creation of photography based art. I engaged the public by offering to "tell fortunes" - making photographs in exchange for callers' questions.

MORE ABOUT THE PROJECT

I was really excited that cell phones made it possible for me to make and email a photograph to anyone in the world.  I created a system of divination as the reason for an interaction.  People can call me on scheduled days with a question that they initially keep secret and I make three images for them wherever I happen to be at the time. I email them their images and they reply back revealing their question.  I pair the text with the images and post on my blog, The Oracle @ WiFi.  When I first began the project, I sent out emails to everyone I knew, offering my services as oracle (thank you Jessica Handler for the title for the project).  I took calls monthly for three years, took a break and now I'm continuing the project but on a quarterly basis.  Soon after I started the project, most of the calls were coming from complete strangers and after a year, I was getting calls from international locations.  The project has had broad appeal, generating reviews and interviews in print, on-line magazines and blogs.

THIS SHOULD BE A BOOK

When I first started the project, I really thought the images would have little if no relation to the images, probably nonsense.  Instead, I found the images usually implied a definite response to the question.  With attittude!  Left to chance, the combinations are unpredictable, unusual, and at times absolutely hilarious,  like a conversation with a really catty but witty friend.  Other times, the combinations are thought provoking or provocative, raising more questions than answering.  It's always a surprise.

And that's why I thought the project lends itself as a book.  Each "reading" tells a story that is different for every person who reads it.  Interpretation is subjective - every individual will have different associations with a photo depending on their personal experiences.  It that way, it is a book where the narrative constantly changes.

The people at Kehrer Verlag have enthusiastically agreed to publish a collection of the readings.  However, due to the high production costs of photography books, it's hard to sell enough volume for earnings to cover costs and make a profit.  So it has become common practice in the industry for the artist to bring funds to the table.

My husband and I are contributing as much as we can and we're trying to raise the remaining $12,000 through Kickstarter.  I've never charged for the readings -- I always saw it as a real collaboration.  So now I am hoping that project participants and people who love the project will collaborate with me on the production of the book, chipping in on the costs to make the book a reality.

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Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $5 or more

    6 backers

    You'll be listed in a group "thank you" on the Oracle @ WiFi blog and you'll receive email notice about future days I'll be taking calls.

  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    2 backers

    You'll get an 'Oracle' postcard with a personal 'thank you' note from me

  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    4 backers

    You'll receive one 8.5" x 11" signed, open edition print of an Oracle reading - choose from 5 different readings!

  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    4 backers

    You'll receive an 8.5" x 11" signed, open edition print, a postcard with a 'thank you' note and your name listed in the 'thank you' section of the book.

  • You selected
    Pledge $75 or more

    12 backers

    A signed copy of the book plus your name listed in the 'thank you' section of the book

  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    5 backers

    You'll be invited to call the Oracle for an opportunity for your own reading on a day I'll set aside just for other donors at this level plus an 8.5" x 11" signed print of the reading.

  • You selected
    Pledge $150 or more

    2 backers

    A guaranteed reading from the Oracle! I'll give you a selection of dates where you can call and you'll have your question answered by the Oracle. Plus an 8.5" x 11" signed print of your reading.

  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    5 backers Limited (10 left of 15)

    A guaranteed reading, a signed, editioned 8.5" x 22" print of your choice, a signed copy of the book, plus your name will be in the "Extra Special Thanks" section of the book!

  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    2 backers

    Ridin' With the Oracle - Spend a day (or less!) with me as I take calls on a scheduled Oracle day in 2011 or 2012. We'll come up with some fun destinations and end the day with a champagne toast. Plus, you'll receive a signed, editioned 8.5" x 22" print of your choice. For Atlanta area residents only. And, of course, your name listed in the "Extra Special Thanks" section of the book.

Funding period

- (45 days)