Ravenna VanOstrand, “Read Receipts”

“Read Receipts” is an exploration of two types of toxicity: communication habits through the medium of texting and the hidden poisons in everyday objects. The primary focus and the inspiration of the project roots in the two types of “read receipts.” The physical receipts received after a purchase which contains Bisphenol A (BPA) a chemical easily absorbed through the skin. The other type of receipt is the digital receipt that indicates the read time for a sent text message, which is a key indicator of if an individual is ghosting or not.

The visual component of the project involves an artist book in the form of a receipt gushing from the inside of a book. The words: “TAKE RECEIPT HERE” points to the mouth of the dispenser. The blog post for this project is a one-sided text conversation between the narrator and the reader, where the narrator talks about the toxicity of read receipts and receipts you read. What we view as mundane exchanges have hidden impacts out of the field of our consideration. And, if you’re wondering what impacts you have on people, check your read receipts.

The links for the four sources present in the text conversation are as follows:

Link 1: F. Richard Ferraro and Jeffrey N. Weatherly, “Texting Dependence, iPod Dependence, and Delay Discounting,” The American Journal of Psychology 129.2 (2016): 161-168.

Link 2: Adam Popescu, “Why People Ghost—And How to Get Over it,” New York Times 22 Jan. 2019.

Link 3: Schwartz, A. W., Landrigan, P. J., Taylor, J. A., vom Saal, F.,S., Welshons, W. V., Drury, B., . . . Laffont, C., “Bisphenol A in thermal paper receipts: An opportunity for evidence-based Prevention / Bisphenol A in thermal paper receipts: Taylor et al. respond,” Environmental Health Perspectives, 120. (2012):, A14-5; author reply A15.

Link 4: Sandra Curtis, “Is BPA on Thermal Paper a Health Risk?”, Plastic Pollution Coalition, 23 Dec. 2016.

To view the digital content of “Read Receipts,” click on this hyperlink.