Where do rotary phones sit within today’s more modern, more digitized world? Does our constant manipulation of these familiar and classic, yet obsolete, objects in art and design signify a desire for a more natural state of being? Jean Luc Cornec’s exhibit at the Museum of Communications in Frankfurt seems to imply as much. The exhibition presses visitors to recall more simplified times through a flock of free-roaming sheep sculpted from old, analog, rotary phones.
Apart from the visually striking animation that is achieved by these static sculptures, what becomes especially compelling is the feeling of being stared down by both an animal and obsolete technology at the same time. The rotary phone, not unlike a country flock of sheep, has entered its own era of quaint – that is, quaint like letter-writing, quaint like the churning of butter – archaic and nostalgic.
With more and more items at one point considered essential, now placed to the wayside, it makes you wonder what in today’s world is next to follow such a fate.