Arts and Culture

This photographer will make you think again about your phone use

Seeing things differently: A family in Ha Noi, Viet Nam, are captured in Eric Pickersgill's project Image: Eric Pickersgill, 2018

Ceri Parker

Previously Commissioning Editor, Agenda, World Economic Forum

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Removed is a series of large format black and white photographs that are of individuals performing as if they are using their devices although their phones and tablets have been physically removed from their hands moments prior to the exposure.The original body of work was created in 2014-2015 in North Carolina, United States of America. Since 2016 new work has been created in Paris, India, Veitnam, Myanmar, Singapore, and Indonesia with hopes of expanding these locations in the neat future. Removed avails performance, portraiture, and photography to question the physical utility of personal devices and the ways they influence society, relationships, and the body. The photographed scenes are derived from observations in my daily life. I ask the sitters to reenact my original observations and seconds before the exposure is made, I remove the device from the their hand. The sitter is asked to remain frozen as if they were still engaged with their device. The project is a form of intervention, calling attention to the use of devices by family members and those around me that I do not know. The making of the photograph operates as a way of disrupting the isolation I feel from strangers who barricade themselves behind their technology. This exchange creates new relationships while also asking the viewer to question their own device habits. I am excited by the way the viewer fills in the device at first look. It is as if the device has become one with the body and can be seen when not present.After the project went viral with international demand overnight in late 2015, I have made it a goal to exhibit the work within as many communities as possible. The work is striking when seen online however it becomes transformational when experienced in person as exhibition prints. The photographs operate as mirrors that help viewers question their own use of technology. The smart phone and the Internet will be known as the industrial revolution of our time and these photograp
Eric Pickersgill, 2018 Image: ©Eric Pickersgill, 2018
Removed is a series of large format black and white photographs that are of individuals performing as if they are using their devices although their phones and tablets have been physically removed from their hands moments prior to the exposure.The original body of work was created in 2014-2015 in North Carolina, United States of America. Since 2016 new work has been created in Paris, India, Veitnam, Myanmar, Singapore, and Indonesia with hopes of expanding these locations in the neat future. Removed avails performance, portraiture, and photography to question the physical utility of personal devices and the ways they influence society, relationships, and the body. The photographed scenes are derived from observations in my daily life. I ask the sitters to reenact my original observations and seconds before the exposure is made, I remove the device from the their hand. The sitter is asked to remain frozen as if they were still engaged with their device. The project is a form of intervention, calling attention to the use of devices by family members and those around me that I do not know. The making of the photograph operates as a way of disrupting the isolation I feel from strangers who barricade themselves behind their technology. This exchange creates new relationships while also asking the viewer to question their own device habits. I am excited by the way the viewer fills in the device at first look. It is as if the device has become one with the body and can be seen when not present.After the project went viral with international demand overnight in late 2015, I have made it a goal to exhibit the work within as many communities as possible. The work is striking when seen online however it becomes transformational when experienced in person as exhibition prints. The photographs operate as mirrors that help viewers question their own use of technology. The smart phone and the Internet will be known as the industrial revolution of our time and these photograp
Eric Pickersgill, 2018 Image: ©Eric Pickersgill, 2018
Removed is a series of large format black and white photographs that are of individuals performing as if they are using their devices although their phones and tablets have been physically removed from their hands moments prior to the exposure.The original body of work was created in 2014-2015 in North Carolina, United States of America. Since 2016 new work has been created in Paris, India, Veitnam, Myanmar, Singapore, and Indonesia with hopes of expanding these locations in the neat future. Removed avails performance, portraiture, and photography to question the physical utility of personal devices and the ways they influence society, relationships, and the body. The photographed scenes are derived from observations in my daily life. I ask the sitters to reenact my original observations and seconds before the exposure is made, I remove the device from the their hand. The sitter is asked to remain frozen as if they were still engaged with their device. The project is a form of intervention, calling attention to the use of devices by family members and those around me that I do not know. The making of the photograph operates as a way of disrupting the isolation I feel from strangers who barricade themselves behind their technology. This exchange creates new relationships while also asking the viewer to question their own device habits. I am excited by the way the viewer fills in the device at first look. It is as if the device has become one with the body and can be seen when not present.After the project went viral with international demand overnight in late 2015, I have made it a goal to exhibit the work within as many communities as possible. The work is striking when seen online however it becomes transformational when experienced in person as exhibition prints. The photographs operate as mirrors that help viewers question their own use of technology. The smart phone and the Internet will be known as the industrial revolution of our time and these photograp
Eric Pickersgill, 2018 Image: ©Eric Pickersgill, 2018
Removed is a series of large format black and white photographs that are of individuals performing as if they are using their devices although their phones and tablets have been physically removed from their hands moments prior to the exposure.The original body of work was created in 2014-2015 in North Carolina, United States of America. Since 2016 new work has been created in Paris, India, Veitnam, Myanmar, Singapore, and Indonesia with hopes of expanding these locations in the neat future. Removed avails performance, portraiture, and photography to question the physical utility of personal devices and the ways they influence society, relationships, and the body. The photographed scenes are derived from observations in my daily life. I ask the sitters to reenact my original observations and seconds before the exposure is made, I remove the device from the their hand. The sitter is asked to remain frozen as if they were still engaged with their device. The project is a form of intervention, calling attention to the use of devices by family members and those around me that I do not know. The making of the photograph operates as a way of disrupting the isolation I feel from strangers who barricade themselves behind their technology. This exchange creates new relationships while also asking the viewer to question their own device habits. I am excited by the way the viewer fills in the device at first look. It is as if the device has become one with the body and can be seen when not present.After the project went viral with international demand overnight in late 2015, I have made it a goal to exhibit the work within as many communities as possible. The work is striking when seen online however it becomes transformational when experienced in person as exhibition prints. The photographs operate as mirrors that help viewers question their own use of technology. The smart phone and the Internet will be known as the industrial revolution of our time and these photograp
Eric Pickersgill, 2018 Image: ©Eric Pickersgill, 2018
Removed is a series of large format black and white photographs that are of individuals performing as if they are using their devices although their phones and tablets have been physically removed from their hands moments prior to the exposure.The original body of work was created in 2014-2015 in North Carolina, United States of America. Since 2016 new work has been created in Paris, India, Veitnam, Myanmar, Singapore, and Indonesia with hopes of expanding these locations in the neat future. Removed avails performance, portraiture, and photography to question the physical utility of personal devices and the ways they influence society, relationships, and the body. The photographed scenes are derived from observations in my daily life. I ask the sitters to reenact my original observations and seconds before the exposure is made, I remove the device from the their hand. The sitter is asked to remain frozen as if they were still engaged with their device. The project is a form of intervention, calling attention to the use of devices by family members and those around me that I do not know. The making of the photograph operates as a way of disrupting the isolation I feel from strangers who barricade themselves behind their technology. This exchange creates new relationships while also asking the viewer to question their own device habits. I am excited by the way the viewer fills in the device at first look. It is as if the device has become one with the body and can be seen when not present.After the project went viral with international demand overnight in late 2015, I have made it a goal to exhibit the work within as many communities as possible. The work is striking when seen online however it becomes transformational when experienced in person as exhibition prints. The photographs operate as mirrors that help viewers question their own use of technology. The smart phone and the Internet will be known as the industrial revolution of our time and these photograp
Eric Pickersgill, 2018 Image: ©Eric Pickersgill, 2018
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