(TMU) — Thanks to technological innovation, our species is now more connected than ever.
Many positive effects have occurred as a result, such as increased awareness about the environment and global affairs. Simultaneously, however, hyper-connectedness has produced an addiction to technology that has caused some folks to be less present with the people they spend time with. This phenomena is showcased in project called “Removed.”
Eric Pickersgill was like most people in the sense that he was once addicted to his phone. But, following a chance encounter in a New York Cafe, he decided he wanted to be more present with those around him. So, he picked up his camera and began snapping photos.
As Bored Panda reports, the project highlights our addiction to technology, specifically smartphones. When the photographer noticed a group of people giving attention to the tools in their hands, rather than their friends or family members, he removed the smartphones and captured a photograph.
Scroll through the collection below and view more of Eric’s work here.
“Family sitting next to me at Illium café in Troy, NY is so disconnected from one another,” Eric wrote in his notes from that day. “Not much talking. Father and two daughters have their own phones out. Mom doesn’t have one or chooses to leave it put away. She stares out the window, sad and alone in the company of her closest family. Dad looks up every so often to announce some obscure piece of info he found online.”
The photographer achieved the surreal effect in his photos by asking strangers and friends to remain in position, then removed their cellphones before taking the shot.
“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.”
“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.”