The allure of the iPhone knows no bounds: walk around any city, and you’ll see tourists posing in front of selfie sticks, businessmen checking email, commuters staring into the faint blue glow of that ever-entrancing screen. Even in the bustling crowds of Manhattan, it’s enough to make every person seem like he’s on his own private island.
London-based photographer Antoine Geigeris notices this most prominently when he’s riding the tube. “It’s this feeling of being on my own while it’s crowded,” he says. In a photo series entitled SUR-FAKE, Geigeris explores what he terms “over-exposure” to our phones by depicting people getting their faces sucked off by their devices.
To get this effect, Geigeris captures the images of people staring down at their phones all over London and then distorts the pixels of their faces in Photoshop to make it look like they’re melting. His images portray people walking and playing on their phones in the street, in the middle of the museum, and standing next to their friends, taking simultaneous selfies at fountains. The eerie look of faces being warped by some powerful but unnoticed force makes for a poignant commentary on how much we opt to stare into our phones instead of engaging in the world around us.
“The images weren’t staged. They are all proofs, facts that I captured, and post-treated to apply my feeling on it,” Geigeris says. “I used a telephoto lens so I could shoot from far away without being noticed. But sometimes I shot with a regular lens–you can literally come in front of somebody and take a picture they won’t even notice. It’s fascinating.”