Unto This Txt
Installation at Gallery333 in Exeter Phoenix, Devon.
by Nick Davies (in collaboration with Lee Anthony and Tobias Quinn)
Window Graphic, dummy phones, collage, pages from d PlsUR of d Txt.
Unto This Txt was part business proposal, part social commentary. It consisted of a new ringtone company, the sort found in many teen magazines, but this one celebrated and promoted famous philosophers and thinkers, not something normally associated with youth culture.
The work was based on a book produced by the artist called d PlsUR of d Txt. This book is a translation of a book by Roland Barthes (a well known academic thinker) called The Pleasure of the Text, into the language of text messages (textese/SMS speak). This odd translation aims to draw our eyes to the differing ways we view the use of language as well as challenging what we think of as 'intelligence'.
The title Unto This Txt is a reference to a work by John Ruskin called Unto This Text. Ruskin's work went through a similarly unexpected translation by Mahatma Gandhi. The result was the Sarvodaya, a work which laid the foundations for the philosophy which Gandhi went on to stand for. Unlike the Sarvodaya, d PlsUR of d Txt was translated through a peer-to-peer website called transl8it.com. By doing this the artist harnessed the txting craze in order to form a new type of language, mixing youth slang with academic jargon. In this context the title makes a sincere yet tongue-in-cheek claim towards the dream of uniting and accepting our socio-linguistic differences as well as our similarities.
Unto This Txt offered it's audience the chance to experience a cultural hybrid of dubstep ringtones infused with philosophical quotes and a text messaging service aimed towards an alternative kind of stimulation.
The ringtones and wallpapers are still available for download below:
(Wallpapers to follow)