press release

Updated July 8th  2020

Studio 10

Payphone Terminal


Patrick Killoran

May 24th – July 7th 2020

Studio 10 is pleased to announce the conclusion of Payphone Terminal by Patrick Killoran. On May 24th 2020, Killoran began his cleaning of a payphone terminal located just around the corner from his apartment in Jackson Heights, Queens. Killoran maintained the terminal in a spotless condition through vigilant and relentless cleaning despite that these phones were scheduled for removal. He continued this maintenance throughout this interval of dead time until at some point between the evening of July 6th and in the morning of July 7th 2020, when the payphone was removed by the city of New York.

This cleaning of a public obsolete payphone calls to mind the many technological systems made redundant and dismantled over the past decades. In the wake of this technical transformation, we have witnessed the disappearance of the corresponding human behaviors, habits, and policies that they in turn made possible. Indeed, the public payphone’s impending dissolution brings about the possibility of new behaviors and expectations. A passerby today, for instance, is unlikely to consider physical contact with these phones, given that most are highly neglected to the point of being unhygienic. Killoran intervenes in this expectation by disinfecting the payphone, going well beyond the level of cleanliness expected in a public space, and applying a level of care reserved for shrines, memorials, and monuments.

While cleaning the terminal Killoran explains that his physical gestures of scrubbing, wiping and rinsing drew the attention of the passerby. Occasionally he was expected to answer questions. Most often he was asked who was paying him for this labor. (The answer: no one.) This embodied interaction was very different from those who virtually experienced the performance on social media, where illustrating “progress” in a format perfect for an era of social distancing was reason enough. Killoran’s memorializing an obsolete technology with an emerging technology brings into focus the many unexamined transformations of our era.

The artist’s chosen payphone was no longer connected, the lights had long since gone out, and the structure was in general disrepair. Yet at the moment of Killoran’s performance, this type of public phone was still central to the urban landscape of New York City. At once ubiquitous but invisible to the passerby, these devices had acquired spectral and liminal qualities. Killoran’s cleaning was not a futile attempt to restore a bygone system but rather it sought to reflect on this transitional moment in the urban imagination of public property in the ongoing crisis.

You can view the process of cleaning at Payphone Terminal on Instagram

The Payphone’s former location is just east of the corner of 82nd and 37th Ave (a block from the 82nd Street Station 7 Train Station). 

The nearest address of the payphone’s former site is 8119 37th Ave, Jackson Heights, NY 11372 Google Maps

About the Artist

From April through May of 2020, Patrick Killoran moderated a video conference workshop entitled, Pillow Screamist Workshop. This workshop offered participants a chance to scream into pillows as an attempt to “collectively address the current emotional crisis” brought on by the ongoing emotional repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic.Killoran has had two solo exhibitions at Studio 10. He has presented solo projects at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Connecticut; Ikon in Birmingham, United Kingdom; Sculpture Center in Long Island City and Samuel Freeman Gallery in Los Angeles.

Killoran has been included in numerous international exhibitions, including Every Day, the 1998 Biennale of Sydney; It is what it is. Or is it? at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, US and in 2014 he participated in The Part In The Story Where A Part Becomes A Part Of Something Else at the Witte de With in Rotterdam, Netherlands and the 2018, the Queens International. He has attended residencies at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and Civitella Ranieri in Umbertide, Italy. From 2017-19, he was a collaborator at SOMA Summer in Mexico City. Currently he is visiting faculty at the Iceland Academy of the Arts and since 2012, Killoran has been a critic at Yale University School of Art, Sculpture. 

More Information about the artist can be found at


56 Bogart Street, Brooklyn, NY 11206 • 718-852-4396


Contact:Larry Greenberg

download PDF of press release