I Don't Get It: Photographs Of People Holding Invisible Phones Is Supposed To Deliver A Message

October 14, 2015

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This is a series of photographs taken by Eric Pickersgill in which the subjects all appear to be holding cell phones and tablets, but aren't. It's supposed to be a social commentary about how isolated handheld technology has made us. Or...something. You know how bad I am at interpreting art. If it's not a painting of an alabaster-skinned lady lounging with her titties out, I'm usually lost.

The joining of people to devices has been rapid and unalterable. The application of the personal device in daily life has made tasks take less time. Far away places and people feel closer than ever before. Despite the obvious benefits that these advances in technology have contributed to society, the social and physical implications are slowly revealing themselves. In similar ways that photography transformed the lived experience into the photographable, performable, and reproducible experience, personal devices are shifting behaviors while simultaneously blending into the landscape by taking form as being one with the body. This phantom limb is used as a way of signaling busyness and unapproachability to strangers while existing as an addictive force that promotes the splitting of attention between those who are physically with you and those who are not.

Yeah, that was entirely too heady for me. Also, just because people have cell phones doesn't mean they'd be talking if they didn't. I'd just be staring at the ceiling in silence. Honestly, the only thing I really learned from seeing all these pictures is how weird people look staring at their curled up hands. THOSE ARE YOUR FINGERS BRO, YOU'VE HAD THEM YOUR WHOLE LIFE.

Keep going for a bunch more, and props to the kid who's playing with an axe while his parents are both busy on their phones.

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Thanks to Zhana, who agrees there's nothing weirder than watching somebody pretend to be on a phone.

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