Ryan Trecartin, (Tommy Chat Just E-mailed Me.), 2006. Movie still. Courtesy of the artist
6 Apr – 30 Sep 2019
PROGRAM A

2006
Video HD, 7’, 15’’

Trecartin describes (Tommy Chat Just E-mailed Me) as a “narrative video short that takes place inside and outside of an e-mail.” Trecartin’s intense visualization of electronic communication is inhabited by a cast of stylized characters: Pam, a lesbian librarian with a screaming baby in an ultra-modern hotel room; Tammy and Beth, who live in an apartment filled with installation art; and Tommy, who is seen in a secluded lake house in the woods. Pam, Tommy and Tammy are all played by Trecartin, who, wearing his signature make-up, jumps back and forth between male and female roles. Totally self-absorbed and equipped with vestigial attention spans, the characters are constantly communicating with one another on the phone or online. Their e-mail exchanges and Internet searches are channeled into bright animations that intersect with the “real world” locations. The story moves from person to person like a browser surfing through Web pages. Engrossed in manic electronic interactions, the characters become increasingly isolated and solipsistic. — eai.org