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 of them 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, producing a photograph that points to the performance of being photographed and making them. 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.
Eric Pickersgill is an artist working in North Carolina who’s work is an exploration of the forms, performances, and memory associated with lens based mediums. He is a 2015 University of North Carolina Chapel Hill MFA candidate and teaching fellow. In 2010 he received a BFA in Photography at Columbia College Chicago.