Five years ago, photographer Eric Pickersgill and his wife, Angie, were lying in bed, backs turned to one another, looking at their phones. When Pickersgill dozed off, his phone slid from his hand and hit the floor. The sound jolted him awake.
As he told the BBC, he saw the scene from the perspective of the ceiling fan in his mind’s eye. There he was, hand frozen in the same position, only minus the phone. He and his wife were “so close physically but psychologically and emotionally so separated from one another.”
This inspired a project that depicts how technology dominates our lives, often to the detriment of our most important relationships. The remarkable series of photographs is called “Removed.”
The pictures run between startling and comical. In one, a newly married couple sits on the hood of a car marked, “Just Married” staring at non-existing phones instead of each other. In another, a crowd at an auction sits gazing into their empty hands as if they were at a palm-readers convention.
The photos are all posed, but this project ought not be dismissed as a mere stunt. As Pickersgill told the BBC, he didn’t know the people in the pictures beforehand. He saw people looking at their phones, explained his project, and asked them if they would be willing to pose. Perhaps the reason they agreed is that they saw themselves in the point he was trying to make.
Of course, if any of us were photographed throughout our day, chances are we’d be caught in similar poses. Who among us is not, at some level, hitched to our glowing rectangles? As the display’s curator put it, “Removed” lifts “the veil of contemporary technology’s hold on our devotion.”
It also reveals how much this “devotion” isolates us from other people.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, John Stonestreet and Roberto Rivera