Let’s face it, smartphones are stealing our attention away from our everyday lives.
In his nightmarish photo series “Sur-Fake,” French artist Antoine Geiger vividly depicts this cultural malaise by manipulating images of people staring at digital devices, to look as if their faces are being uncannily sucked into their screens.
Metro: What is the story behind your “Sur-Fake” series?
Geiger: I have begun to notice more and more a change in our social behavior. I would like to describe it as an addiction but in truth it’s more like an excessive attitude that strikes me every day, when I get on the metro, for example. It’s a feeling of being on my own while in a crowded place. An awareness of this problem has been somewhere in my mind for some time, but only now could I put it into a transmissible representation; I like it and it makes me laugh, to be honest. People would find this portrayal to be creepy; I find it rather funny – it’s dark humor.
Do you think that we spend too much time on our smartphones?
Geiger: I don’t think it’s a question of quantity, I would rather think of it in terms of quality. Indeed, I’m highlighting here a ‘disconnection’ between people and their surroundings. What I’m pointing at is that interfaces are actually replacing interactions nowadays.
How did you go about capturing these pictures?
Geiger: The original, unedited images weren’t staged. I captured them and then post- treated to apply my feelings. I used Photoshop and only distorted the existing pixels, in a way that the faces are melting into a kind of digital flesh texture.
What is the artistic meaning underneath your photograph series?
Geiger: I wouldn’t think there is a hidden meaning, but more a sort of report or statement. I’m simply showing where we are right now. What I really want to do is question this social phenomenon, scrutinize this instability, those fragile identities, those masks, this no-space of social interaction.