No. 124

Shadow of the Cell phone

By : Lu Shih Yao

Entrant’s location : Taiwan



An obsolete CRT TV with a smartphone holder on the back. Turn on the flashlight of your phone and put it in. A bigger world from both light and shadow of the cell phone will be unfolded.

Why did you make it?

We created this work because we noticed a strange phenomenon of our society. Though the cell phone OS and all kinds of app installed in it keep updating every day, uses of this device by the people in my country seem to stay the same. Whether people are taking the MRT, waiting for a bus, or simply feeling bored, they take out their smartphones, looking down at them, and sliding their fingers on the screens. Almost everyone is phubbing when they think they have nothing else to do. Now we can see the limitation of this splendid little electronic device, which is not from itself, but from the very way we use it. It's a little bit sad not just because we use smartphones as a time killing machine, but also for all those little wonders around us that are shaded by the way we use technology. Therefore, we would like to offer another choice, another chance to remind some smartphone addicts, that if you would look up from time to time, you will see more. Perhaps you will see a beautiful flying butterfly, or a flower coming into blossom. In short, Conviviality, we hope you'll see through our work.

How did you make it?

First, we bought an obsolete broken CRT TV, and emptied it as a shell. Then we cut a hole, remodeling it to a mobile phone holder. After that we designed the shadow play dolls and mechanical structures, making all the components out of aluminum sheet, copper, wood, and cardboard by hand. Then we started placing different kinds of motors in the TV, assuring all parts can move properly according to our plot of the shadow show. Finally, we coded and adjusted the movement of all the devices on two development boards called Micro Bit, making all the dolls come to lifelike. Furthermore, we added a light sensor in it so the whole show will start automatically once someone puts a cell phone on it and turns on the flashlight. We combine smartphone, CRT TV and traditional Chinese shadow puppetry together. These three elements symbolize essentially similar entertainments of three generations separately from the late 50's to now. It is like we created a new OS for the smartphone, with an old-fashioned memorable appearance, and unfold it before people's eyes in the simplest and the most ancient way.

Your entry’s specification

Antique CRT TV shell (37x25x29cm), electronics, multi materials