The artist’s approach revolves around the psychological effects of the camera on society and the individual. He is particularly interested in the artifacts of the photograph and the codes of the image. His work also hints at nostalgic documentation, some kind of desire to join images of the past with those of subsequent evolution.
The series Removed began as the artist sat in a café one morning and observed a Family sitting next to him being disconnected from one another. They weren’t talking much – three of them had their phones out – but the Mom had chosen to leave hers away and was staring out the window, sad and alone in the company of her closest family members. Pickersgill, saddened by the scene, reflected on the use of technology for interaction.
The joining of people to devices has been rapid and unalterable. Using the personal phone in daily life has made tasks quicker. Faraway places and people feel closer than ever before. Though their benefits are obvious, social and physical implications are slowly revealing themselves. Similar to how photography transformed the lived experience into the photographable, performable and reproducible experience, personal devices are shifting behaviors while simultaneously blending into the landscape, taking form as one with the body. This phantom limb is used to signal 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 the context of true or false, Eric’s works confronts us with the distance that display screens can create in our human relationships, allying us with the rich authentic bond that constitutes a physical exchange as compared with the distorted character of a virtual one.
Curator : Maude Arsenault