Karfiol col­lected the ev­i­dence she found of the ways that smart­phones are es­sen­tial to the con­tem­po­rary refugee ex­pe­ri­ence.

Pasatiempo - - CURRENTS - Re­lief and Mon­i­tor­ing

Karfiol said the whole idea of refugees be­ing poor and un­e­d­u­cated — and in the logic of some, there­fore not en­ti­tled to pos­sess smart­phones — is ill-in­formed. Syr­ian and Kur­dish peo­ple have mostly fled their coun­try be­cause of war, not eco­nomic dis­en­fran­chise­ment. “We need to un­der­stand that many of them come from mid­dle-class house­holds and may be ed­u­cated, with a univer­sity de­gree. They had proper first-world work and are def­i­nitely as flu­ent with tech­nol­ogy as a per­son liv­ing in Europe, the U.S., or else­where. Ac­tu­ally, we might need to grasp this fact: The re­ally poor ones hardly have the financial means to ven­ture on this trip to life. It is quite costly.”

has been in­stalled a num­ber of ways at gal­leries and fes­ti­vals. In other venues, Karfiol has cre­ated a kind of futuristic in­for­ma­tion cen­ter to en­hance the sur­re­al­ism of the pro­ject. “I try to re­spect the in­tel­li­gence of view­ers, since it is im­por­tant to me not to rep­re­sent this phe­nom­e­non as an Ori­en­tal­ist ex­trav­a­ganza of blood­shed and me­dieval tragedy, a unique war crime that hap­pens far, far away — but rather as a very cold, bu­reau­cratic, tech­ni­cal, dystopian pos­si­bil­ity that might next strike just about any­where we call home.” — Jen­nifer Levin

“Re­lief and Mon­i­tor­ing” screens as part of Cur­rents New Me­dia at 7 p.m. Wed­nes­day, June 14, and Wed­nes­day, June 21, at Vi­o­let Crown (1606 Al­caldesa St., 505-216-5678); no charge.

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