“Medievalists have been comparing the smart phone to the Medieval book of hours for years,” curator Sarah Celentano, a medievalist and former staffer at New York’s City Reliquary told Artnet News. “They are about the same size, people use them in public, and they are luxury items.”
Phil Buehler has run with that comparison, surreptitiously snapping photographs of New Yorkers engrossed in their phones and turning the images into stained glass-style images displayed on a smart TV mounted in a wooden frame shaped like an arched church window. Right now, only the video files are for sale, for $1,500 each, but the right offer could potentially buy you the whole installation.
The meditative display, beneath a vaulted “ceiling” of blue lights, is paired with dispatches from QAnon printed in Gothic script that Celentano selected for their biblical cadence. “Smart phones give us access to limitless information, not just prayers,” she said, “but we are still prone to radicalization.”