May 8th, 2009 | Uncategorized

812 texts + 47 men = three hours at the YUAG

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There are few things as embarrassing as sending a text message and receiving no reply.

But here’s one: sending a text message to a performance artist whose work is all about sending and receiving text messages — and receiving no reply.

That’s what happened to me yesterday at the Yale University Art Gallery, where Haley Hogan ’09 had stationed herself in a bathtub and was thumbing away on her BlackBerry from 5 to 8 p.m. Behind Hogan was a screen that scrolled through 812 text messages she received while living in New York City for four months last year. The messages came from 47 different men, and were also printed on fortune cookie-like papers placed in clear plastic spheres that surrounded Hogan in the tub.

“The installation questions the mediation of PDAs, wireless internet, and the inescapable media, in relationships,” Hogan wrote of her art. “It poses a critique of the artificial nature of sexuality, and male-female dynamics, in the modern age.”

On her Twitter account last night as the performance wound down, though, Hogan put it more simply: “Almost done in the tub!! Can’t wait to pee and eat din din..”

And, to her credit, she did answer another of my text messages. When I asked if her thumbs were sore from all the texting, she wrote back, “Never! Xxo.”

(Photo: Paul Needham/Staff Photographer)