Gigantic iPhone becomes work of art at ArtPrize

8:17 AM, Sep 24, 2012   |    comments
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Destruction of Technology

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Last week was a banner one for both iPhone and ArtPrize lovers, with the new iPhone 5 being released Friday and the fourth year of ArtPrize kicking off last Wednesday.

For many, it may be difficult to tie the two together. One is fast becoming a premiere event in the art community and the other, is undoubtedly the cream of the crop in the world of cell phone technology. However, one group of Grand Rapids men found a way to combine the two in a very creative way.

Jordan Notenbaum, co-owner of Genius Phone Repair in Grand Rapids was one of the thousands of die-hard iPhone lovers who waited in long lines across the globe Friday to get their hands on the new iPhone 5.

Most of the excited customers, like Lee Wharton, also in Grand Rapids, dreamed of all the things they could do with this cherished tech device.

"If I get up and go to the kitchen, my iPhone goes with me. I stream movies from this to my TV. I use it at work to demo different things for customers. Anything you can think of, I probably use my phone for," said Wharton.

But it was Notenbaum and other technicians at Genius Phone Repair that contemplated, and followed through with, destroying the coveted iPhone just minutes after purchasing it.

In front of a long line of hopeful buyers still waiting to enter the Apple store in Woodland mall, Notenbaum tossed the iPhone 5 in the air three times, each time a little higher, until he finally cracked the screen and broke the device.

"That's it, busted screen," he said, explaining that it was all for a good reason.

""We fix phones. We need to know what kind of pressure it takes to break the glass on them. And we wanted to see it. It's kind of cool," said Notenbaum.

But it would come as no surprise Notenbaum gets a kick out of broken iPhones if you take one look at his ArtPrize entry this year.  The co-owner of Genius Phone Repair and two collaborators spent four months building a 6 foot tall iPhone as a way to promote their business and all the broken screens they have laying around.

"We have over 400 iPhones and iPads, parts, screens and it came together to be this giant iPhone and it is functional," said Notenbaum.

The art entry is fully functional, allowing spectators to talk to Siri, play games, tweet, text, Facebook, take pictures and even video chat with other iPhone users.

Unlike the iPhone 5, it's anything but lightweight. But, what they share in common is that people can't seem to get enough.
"The response is amazing. I think we are over 300 pictures and everyone is smiling and just having fun playing around with it," said Notenbaum.

The ArtPrize entry is called "Destruction of Technology" and it is located on the first floor of the JW Marriott.

Notenbaum says they are thinking of a way to incorporate that new broken iPhone 5 screen into the exhibit if possible.

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