Funded! This project was successfully funded on May 6, 2011.

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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.

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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  • Pledge $5 or more
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    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.

  • Pledge $10 or more
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    2 backers

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

  • Pledge $25 or more
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    4 backers

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

  • Pledge $50 or more
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    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.

  • Pledge $75 or more
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    12 backers

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

  • Pledge $100 or more
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    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.

  • Pledge $150 or more
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    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.

  • Pledge $250 or more
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    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!

  • Pledge $500 or more
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    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)