Beth Lilly utilizes a variety of photographic styles in her conceptually driven projects that speculate on the interplay of choice, chance and circumstance. Her work has been collected by the High Museum, The Ogden Museum of Southern Art, MOCA GA, the Metropolitan Atlanta Arts Fund and many others. Kehrer Verlag published a book of her work from the Oracle @ WiFi project in 2012. She’s received grants from Society for Photographic Education and Atlanta Celebrates Photography and is a Hambidge Fellow. Lilly earned a MFA in Photography from Georgia State University and an ABJ in Media Production from the University of Georgia. She currently resides in Atlanta.
When cell phone cameras first came out, I saw they could enable individuals to directly interact with an artist. Instead of putting an exhibition up on a wall, I could make photographs for individuals with my cell phone and send directly to them. Starting in 2006, I began a project to do just that. Loosely based on fortune telling, I presented myself as an oracle and artist who would take photographs for callers that, theoretically, answered their personal question. Via email word-of-mouth, I invited the general public to call my phone on the seventh day of the month. Since the idea was for me to randomly create images for them, they were instructed to keep their question secret from me. The other rule – whatever my location when they called, must be the starting point to make three unique images and email to them. Upon receipt, they replied and revealed their question. I combined their text with my images and posted the results on the project blog, The Oracle@WiFi. Viewing the triptychs, each question begs an answer to the question it poses. The meaning each person arrives at is entirely subjective so each piece provides an endless number of possible narratives. A complete archive or the project is viewable here.