Jody Zellen

Without a Trace can be seen as a reinterpretation of print news and cartoons, beginning in 2007 with a file of daily images from the online comic "Real Life." The current project, produced with the aid of a Turbulence New Radio and Performing Arts commission, erases the text from thought-bubbles with the aim of being able to reuse them to express different ideas. Apart from this change, Zellen makes hand-drawn tracings to join different pages of the newspaper together, so that they become "a distilled interpretation of the news." "Without A Trace" is a project that brings together these disparate collections and through juxtaposition recontextualizes them.

Zellen herself writes “The title "Without A Trace" has multiple meanings. A trace references a memory. It is what remains when almost everything else disappears. A trace is an action. One traces an image or traces over something. 'Without A Trace' is also the phase we use to refer to something that has disappeared leaving no record. The news is ephemeral, as is the newspaper. It has a given structure yet its online content changes continually. In this project I have attempted to take these disappearing elements and bring them together for the time they are viewed on the webpage. However, like all web content these juxtapositions will disappear when the browser is closed. Only to live in memory--both ours and that of the computer-- challenging the title and the notion; without a trace. ”

Jody Zellen lives in Los Angeles, California. She works in many mediums, 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. Her solo exhibitions were held at Paul Kopeikin Gallery (2007), LAXArt (2007), and Pace University's Digital Gallery (2005). Her website "Ghost City" ( begun in 1997 is an ever changing meditation on the urban environment. "Crowds and Power" was the October 2002 portal for the Whitney Museum's artport ( "Disembodied Voices," 2004 ( began as an online project that was then coverted into a 5 projector interactive installation. She has recently created five online projects for the Dutch Newspaper Volkskrant.

Interview with Jody Zellner
"Without a Trace"

Anna Factorvich
Begona Vilouta-Vazquez