Dial M for Mafia

Local shutterbug documents dying communication ties

If you really want to feel a connection to the mafia, ditch the season whatever of The Sopranos and head to your closest neighborhood payphone.

Local artist Aaron Abbott – who spent more than a year capturing every payphone in the grid from 16th to 24th streets and from Thomas Road to Van Buren Street – discovered many things on his photography walkabout, including the communication connection between the dying devices and the Bonanno crime family, who reportedly only used payphones to conduct business.

“While pursuing this project, I’ve been amazed at the number of mob-phones which still exist. While my project is still a work in progress, roughly two-thirds of the phones which I have hunted down still exist,” says Abbott, whose “Phonebook” series is currently on display at Conspire, 901 North 5th Street. (The images have also been compiled into a limited-edition book, which is available for purchase at Conspire.)


Dec. 8-31, 2009
 
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