Turbulence Commission: “Without A Trace” by Jody Zellen

Turbulence Commission: “Without A Trace” by Jody Zellen

In July 2007, Jody Zellen began saving the daily online version of the comic strip “Real Life Adventures”, removing the text so that all that was left were the empty thought bubbles. She has also been tracing the print version of the New York Times every day, often combining the front and back of a single page (by holding it up to a window). “Without A Trace” takes the idea of this daily ritual as its point of departure.

Each day for a year, a comic image, a trace drawing, and three words from the original comic strip will be randomly selected from an archive. These will be juxtaposed with live text and image feeds from the New York Times online.

A trace is an action. A trace is what remains when almost everything else disappears. “Without A Trace” draws from an archive of traces, presenting them with ephemeral data to provide a fleeting memory, challenging the title and the notion, without a trace.

“Without A Trace” is a 2008 commission of New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc., (aka Ether-Ore) for its Turbulence web site. It was made possible with funding from the Jerome Foundation.


Jody Zellen works in many media simultaneously making photographs, installations, net art, public art, as well as artists’ books that explore the subject of the urban environment. She employs media-generated representations of contemporary and historic cities as raw material for aesthetic and social investigations. Recent solo exhibitions include Fringe Exhibitions, Paul Kopeikin Gallery, LAXArt, and Pace Digital Gallery (2005). Her net art projects have shown in festivals and exhibitions such as Stuttgarter Filmwinter, 9th Japan Media Art Festival, Arte Nuevo Interactive, File, Recontres Internationales, and Net_Condition. Zellen is currently a Visiting Artist at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

For more Turbulence commissions, please visit http://turbulence.org