Rachel Hanlon is an artist working within the frame of media archeology. Her works make available many layered metaphors and meanings through reinterpretations of the now obsolete technologies that are heightened by our cultural reliance on them as a part of the narrative of our times. Her interest in pop-culture, film, music and autobiographies add layers of depth to references in her works that use media appropriation as central themes.


Selected works:

  Hello Machine

When you use a Hello Machine, who will you ‘voice visit’ with? Hello Machines are situated across the globe in ever-changing locations and time zones. Picking up the receiver calls other Hello Machines, creating space for spontaneous...
Hello Machine

  Off the Hook

"Off the hook" which explores Hanlon's own personal connections to the telephone, debating the relevance of her landline and her idiosyncratic reluctance to part with it, wondering if it was a by product of feeling connected to her number, or...
Off the Hook

  Can Somebody Get That

I examine the physical aspect of the landline telephone taking up a purposefully sectioned off area in the home as one of the first things I see that has significance as a disappearance. By placing three obsolete landline telephones upon the...
Can Somebody Get That

Videos of recent works:

Rachel Hanlon

The interplay between People and Things
Artistic Statement
What happens when an object, once significant to a whole generation as a technological device, has passed its intended purpose and use?

Rachel Hanlon’s work explores this question our modern day society asks itself by reflecting on her own personal connection to the telephone. Her works make available many layered metaphors and meanings through reinterpretations of the now obsolete technologies that are heightened by our cultural reliance on them as a part of the narrative of our times. Her installations stimulate thoughts regarding objects/things in relation to the passing of time, changes to our ‘selves’ and our rituals, cementing the telephone as an object that verifies its place within our history as part of our cultural voice.

About my works
These works explore how an 'object' that was significant to a particular generation as simply a technological device, can surpass its intended functional purpose and evolve into another 'thing' altogether. This new thing, not just an object and not quite an artefact, elevates our human concerns and emotional selves, connecting us to the contemplative qualities and cultural perspectives that things can posses. My research focuses on analysing the landline telephone as an object through which a reworking of self and time can be achieved through providing visual representations of my research. By providing an experience through which the viewer can interact with a re-animated 'obsolete' object, these works aim to trigger an amalgamation of emotional state to an object, affirming my position of an existing correlation between the passage of time and self and object/thing appeal. This 're-animations' will encourage a re-interpretation of cultural perspectives by conceptually examining the passing of time, changes to our 'selves' and our rituals. My work undertakes a 'media archaeology', with an emphasis on my process, to explore the communal undercurrent of the object/thing appeal, through the ways in which we develop an attraction and affection for these technological objects at the intersection of animate and inanimate life.

Rachel Hanlon

Rachel Hanlon on insta