Noah McWilliams - Washington, DC based installation artist


It's just a math problem. Over the course of two years, I distributed approximately 20 thousand flyers under the windshield wipers of cars parked along North Market Street in Frederick, Maryland. On each flyer I printed the equation 3×5²=? along with a phone number. When the phone number was dialed, a recorded greeting directed callers to leave an answer, but did not provide them with any information as to the purpose of the equation or the flyer itself. This project was inspired by the online phenomenon known as trolling, whereby a person posts inflammatory messages in an online community that provokes an emotional response or otherwise disrupts a conversation. To recreate trolling in a “real world” setting, I created an environment in which the callers’ relationship with their property serves as the disrupted conversation, and the placement of an equation on that property serves as the inflammatory message. The responses were compiled and presented at Talon Gallery, a gallery located on the same street the flyers were distributed.

Description: 2 independent channels play responses from 4 speakers, and a subwoofer plays a bass drone from the central pedestal

variable size

© 2019 by Noah McWilliams