Devin Johnson

Third-Eye Phone

Third-Eye Phone, 2017

Rotary phone, thermal printer, raspberry pi, camera, phone mask.

The red phone rings, a participant answers, monks chant on the line, a photo of the participant holding the phone prints on thermal paper along with the message: “You Are God”

The harsh climate of Burning Man made for an ideal space to exhibit this work. Standing in the deep playa where few venture, in the middle of a dust storm, random people would find me, interact with the piece, and have a surreal experience.

A highlight was interacting with Japanese performance artist Ken Hamazaki, who’s Red Tea Ceremony has inspired me since I first experienced it in 2006. I was the last person to sit with him, and he answered my phone, listening for several minutes before continuing his own performance.

Documentation of the performance has received viral exposure online, with thousands of shares and comments on Facebook and Instagram. The largest post which set off a cascade of shares started with, “This was my favorite art this year at Burning Man.”

Devin Johnson