Ryan Trecartin b. 1981
(Tommy-Chat Just E-mailed Me) (2006)
2006, 7:15 min, color, sound

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 Jewish 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.

Lizzie Fitch: Beth and Bolivia; Taya Kaschnick: Catherine Pimples and OMG 1; Megan: Betraya and OMG 2; Penelope Wright: Penny-O; Barkev G.: OMG record me Dude; Rhett LaRue: Cheeta; Junior Greenberg: The Cat; Lexer: Soft Picture Boy; Ryan Trecartin: Tammy 1, Tammy 2, Tommy Chat, High/Low Tommy Video Voice, and Tommy Video Girl.

-- Electronic Arts Intermix


This video is for noncommercial and educational use only. All rights to this recorded material belong to Ryan Trecartin. Used with permission of Ryan Trecartin.

Used with kind permission of Andrea Rosen Gallery, NY, and Regen Projects, LA.

This title is available for exhibitions, screenings, and institutional use through Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), NY. Please visit the EAI Online Catalogue for further information about this artist and work. The EAI site offers extensive resources for curators, students, artists and educators, including: an in-depth guide to exhibiting, collecting, and preserving media art; A Kinetic History: The EAI Archives Online, a collection of essays, primary documents, and media charting EAI's 40-year history and the early years of the emergent video art scene; and expanded contextual and educational materials.