In today’s society, it is possible to be constantly ‘connected’, reaching out to people by texting, checking-in, tweeting and more. Supposedly, this makes us more social, contacting friends and distant relatives, but in fact, it isolates us from the present and those around us. Eric Pickersgill (1986, USA) plays with the idea of an omnipresent smartphone in Removed, in which the devices are physically taken from the subject, while their hunched and hypnotised pose remains the same. The black and white images capture a range of people in everyday situations and he states: “the absence of the device points to it more so than if it were actually present”, highlighting the absurdity of the situation. Moments of intimacy are lost, and even though the subjects are drawn in to their phones, they don’t laugh, smile or show any distinct emotion. Despite this series being a seemingly cautionary tale, Pickersgill insists it isn’t his ambition to tell viewers what to do, rather he means to convey the rapid and unalterable connection of people to devices.