Title: Phonewatching

Year: 2008-2016


On the north wall a set of photographs revisits Desmond Morris’s 1978 book Manwatching: A Field Guide to Human Behaviour. Morris, a zoologist, former curator of mammals at the London Zoo, and surrealist artist, set out to distinguish behaviors innate to the human animal from those conditioned by culture and society through a thorough inventory of human body language, gestures, and behaviors. In revisiting Manwatching as Phonewatching, we document the ubiquity of gadgets and the consequent impact on the human body.

Phonewatcchingsuggests that we use gadgets not just to maintain greater connectivity, but also to moderate the connections we establish around us. The camera reveals the private zones we construct in public space asow we utilize these technologies, connecting with others at a distance in order to disconnect from those around us. Documenting the invisible structures produced by data exposes moments of individual absurdity, public anonymity, false security, and collective behaviors of isolation, while also underscoring the ethereal environments increasingly surrounding us.