It all goes back to spaceships and babies.
Eric Fossum. Odds are you've never heard of him. He's the guy who invented the CMOS Active Pixel Sensor that made it possible to turn a computer chip into a camera. He was a NASA nerd, working on technology for spacecraft.
A few years later Phillipe Kahn came up with the crazy-clever idea of jamming Fossum's sensor and tiny point-and-shoot lens into a Motorola Startac — the cutting edge of 1997 cellular technology. Why? His wife was pregnant and he wanted to take a photograph of the new baby and transmit it instantly to his friends and family.
The advent of the cellphone camera means everybody can shoot photographs everywhere all the time. That's not necessarily a good thing. As John Szarkowski said of Garry Winogrand, to expose film is not quite to photograph. Exchange 'pixels' for 'film' and the idea is the same. Clicking the shutter is the simplest step in the process. 'To photograph' is a more layered undertaking.
In this project we're using the technologies invented by Fossum and Kahn in an attempt to do what Szarkowski asked of Winogrand. We're using devices designed for spaceships and babies to create our own very personal and intimate way of looking at the world.
We could have called this The Fossum-Kahn Project, but that sounds too much like a Robert Ludlum thriller. Instead we're calling this Utata Goes Mobile.