Skype Call

by Max Thesen Law

Seems less a drop or glitch

more the actual work of god.

Or voice: his virtual echo caught

Incompletely depicted. Bounced back to the database.

Sent there.

Picture a pixel scrapyard.

Inter this errant image. I still shudder bottom-right.

Light in flurry; fast clatter.

No machine-sing

spins to bring us close.

And like Max Renn I desire to get inside it and understand the picture as a membrane or a mouth:

Little teeth, luminous bones

Gleam me back synthetic glow

Haircut fresh, mid-speech

In freeze-frame, half-cameo.


I wrote: unmitigated image.

The obviousness of the sublime.

I wrote Skype Call a while ago, when I was in a long distance relationship and doing a lot of video calls. Poor network connection resulted in a fortuitous frozen image of my partner onscreen. The image was so perfect that it momentarily unseated my desire for closeness.

Max Thesen Law (1994) is an interdisciplinary artist, researcher, para-academic and writer from Cape Town. Their practice is foundationally text-based but manifests itself through various media including video, sound, performance, installation and printmaking. Their work and research focuses on ideas surrounding queer taxonomy, time, precarity, necropolitics, spectrality, and the politics of desire. They hold a BFA from the Michaelis School of Fine Art, UCT and an MFA from the Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford.

Max can be found online at