Constant connectivity isn’t always clean. Every swipe of a smartphone touchscreen leaves vestiges of our oily, dusty, grubby fingers, tracing the patterns of our digital life in grime. Currently on display at New York’s Five-11 gallery, artist Arslan Sukan’s latest photography series takes those patterns and magnifies them into abstract art.
In “While you were surfing,” he scanned the surface of his iPhone and edited the images to highlight the fingerprints, dust, and cracks in the screen, creating large scale images of his phone usage.
“With ‘While you are surfing’, Sukan questions whether our experiences with the digital world, which are mediated through a screen, are any less immediate or complete than our encounters with experiences in physical world,” Five-11 writes in a summary of his work.
When magnified, the physical filth manifests itself as a set of otherworldly, abstract portraits. The cracks and dust transform into suggestions of night skies and hairy beasts, revealing the physical underpinnings of our virtual existence.
The exhibit is on display until February 7.