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Aug 10, 2016 2:22 PM ET

Archived: The Phone Project: A color photography book of vintage telephones in awkward landscapes paired with very short fiction!

iCrowdNewswire - Aug 10, 2016

The Phone Project

A color photography book of vintage telephones in awkward landscapes paired with very short fiction!

Hi I’m Kate, the photographer and author behind The Phone Project.

What is The Phone Project?

It’s a full color collection of my photography capturing vintage telephones in awkward landscapes, snuggled up in a book next to some of my flash fiction.

This is absolutely the coolest and most profound project I’ve ever put together.

In a way it’s an absurdist comedy to place these phones in places they would not usually be found and that’s the beauty of the concept and the profundity of making art about the ways in which we communicate.

The Phone Project has been on my mind forever and I finally started shooting it 5 years ago! Yes, 5 years ago!


Because Phones are Awesome

For five years I’m been collecting phones and taking pictures of them whenever I can and wherever I can. I’m been documenting some of our last remaining phone booths too while I’m at it. Now I have over 200 photographs from NY to Death Valley, Seattle to the Salton Sea with a few more to take here in Joshua Tree and Berlin. For those of you that know my work, my films can take forever and usually when I make a book like my Mojave Weather Diaries, I am making something super accessible between films that sustains my art practice.

I always have writing available to me as my creative outlet between bigger more expensive projects. I’ve successfully printed 4 Mojave Weather Diaries without having to fund raise. But that’s because they are black and white images from my sketchbook and it’s way less expensive to print than a full color image book. That’s why I’m asking for your help this time!

It would be impossible for me to afford to print this book without your contribution.

Usually with my art books I do a very limited edition and this is for a few reasons: Firstly so the book will retain its value as a special art object, to keep printing affordable for the comics, and to reasonably distribute the art through small community readings and art openings. I’d love to print The Phone Project in an edition of 250 which will be more than I usually get to do, but it will still be small enough to be a special art book and collectable.

One of the photos was recently featured in the projection of Open Desert at the Palm Springs Art Museum!


Pure Mettle and YOU!

I’ve been very successful at setting my art goals and achieving them, often in the spare few minutes I have between jobs and sleep and sometimes between holding down 3 jobs and sleeps. I made a promise to myself this year that I’d focus on finishing art projects that are important to me and making sure I reach out to my audience and make my art available as I go.

People are already willing to book me to do readings from The Phone Project later this year. How awesome is that? I have an audience waiting to laugh out loud to funny short stories about how we communicate and enjoy beautiful phone photographs that will remind people of their childhoods, our thoughts on technology, the myriad of metaphoric ways we use “the call” and of course, the surreal aspect of an object in a sometimes unexpected place.

The last time I crowd funded for a book, I raised money to pay my collaborators: the illustrator, the copy editor, the printer, and a web designer. I met my goal!  A full color photo book costs a lot more to print. Your donations at every level count tremendously and at a $100 will get you a signed and numbered copy of the book and some exciting special little art pieces I made just for this. The majority of funds raised will go to the printing of the books. The rest will be divided between: payment to a copy editor to help the fiction parts, rebooting the Kidnap Yourself website to promote the book, some to help with the overhead here at the Kidnap Yourself studio (I’ve never raised money to help keep the lights on while I work, but need to admit I need the help!), and to upgrade some of my camera equipment so I can take a few more crucial photos to top off the fine collection of phones – for instance: I can take the very last photo in Berlin when I’m there in September doing my very first artist residency!

I’m not down with the phrase “Passion project.” Art making whether it is for my films, writing, painting or photography is my life, and my life is something I’m passionate about but it’s no temporary thing or hobby, this is my commitment to my audience and to inspire other art makers and viewers along the way. I’ve been humbled and honored to receive praise for my work and combining my writing and photographs is something I live for. You can help! And your help at any level gets you a piece of art in return.


I thought I’d break down the budget so you know I’m being realistic and not overly ambitious.

The quote I have for 250, 100 page full color photo books with a  soft cover is $7,500. $1000 for the website re-launch, $400 for the copy editor, $800 for shipping and shipping packaging, $500 for the last camera gear, $960-1000 for the fees charged by Indie Gogo, and what’s left is about $800 toward studio overhead.

It’s easy to get to $12,000 making a full color book.

My dream would be to raise even more and do a Hardcover! And if we go over the amount, that’s exactly what I’ll do as a best case scenario.

If we can’t raise the full amount, I will have to print less books, but will still need to raise approx $8,000 to pay for the other elements involved and print a beautiful edition of 100 books instead. Either way The Phone Project will be in your hands someday…by December!!


Thank you a million times over from my little desert art studio and for helping make The Phone Project a bona fide work of art you can hold in your hands.


Kate McCabe lives in the desert near the rock-n-roll heaven known as Joshua Tree, California where she founded the art collective Kidnap Yourself. In Philadelphia, her youth was dominated by dance and art where her mother taught ballet and later performed Flamenco. She is a graduate of Girls’ High, the University of the Arts and she obtained her MFA in Experimental Animation from the California Institute of the Arts under the innovative Jules Engel.  She is an award winning independent filmmaker who has shown films globally since 1995 in both film festivals and galleries and the occasional guerrilla drive-in. She is most re-known internationally for Sabbia, her first feature film, a visual album for stoner rock prince, Brant Bjork. Her current work includes paintings, photography, short fiction, and art books, in addition to the R. Crumb inspired “The Truth About Tornados”, a short story with illustrations by the Philadelphia artist Monique Ligons. Her popular sketch comic book “Mojave Weather Diaries” has produced 4 books in the series and counting. McCabe has taught film at CalArts and UC San Diego and has worked with some of Los Angeles’ most prolific independent filmmakers including Eli Roth and Pat O’Neill. She will be the artist in residence at Studio Lichtenberg in Berlin in September, 2016 and had her first solo show of paintings and photographs “The Ineffable Inevitable” at Taylor Junction in Joshua Tree.


Contact Information:

Kate McCabe

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