Shaun Slifer


steel, enamel, approx 950ft. monofilament
site-specific outdoor installation

An interpretation of the childhood tin-can phone experiment, wherein a length of wire, string, or twine is stretched between two empty cans in an effort that two people might speak to each other from across a room, yard, or playground. Operation is based on faith-in-context, much in the same way that one hears the ocean in a seashell or tries to read the lips of strangers.

More of a gesture than a communication device, "We" consisted of two can "phones" built into antennae-like mounts, with a line running between them and over the Bloomfield Ravine (known colloquially as "the Hollow") over which spans the Bloomfield Bridge. The Hollow, while geographically dividing two neighborhoods of Pittsburgh behind my home, also operates under the radar as a sort of no-man's-land.

The core inspiration for this piece came from artist/activist/longtime cohort etta cetera, through her band The Lay-Z-Boyz' song "Tin Can Phone Over the Hollow" (later by The Hollow Sisters & Mr. Marcus).