Startling Photo Series Explores How Our Phones Have Become Our Identities

If we're constantly attached to a screen, are we under its control?

Our phones, it seems, are an extension of ourselves. More than half of American smartphone owners check their device a few times an hour, according to a 2015 Gallup poll, and 81 percent say they keep their phones nearby during waking hours almost all of the time. For some, a smartphone might as well be an extra limb.

Antoine Geiger

That's what artist Antoine Geiger depicts in his photo series "Sur-Fake," highlighting our attachment to the the ubiquitous devices by depicting people's faces stretched and connected to the smartphones they hold in their hands.

"The [smartphone] screen works just like a cigarette," he wrote of his project. "It is about the reflex, the underlying, the standard. It appeases the consciousness, stimulates it, orders it, subjugates it. Your arm isn’t long enough for your ego, no problem, selfie stick is here!"

The images remove human faces and replace our most distinct and recognizable features with a piece of plastic and glass. With this effect, Geiger shows that our smartphones -- or what lives inside them -- have become more of our identity than our physical selves. The photos are startling: If we're constantly attached to a screen, are we under its control? Geiger seems to think so:

The small anodyne object that purrs in your bag when you receive a call, that cries when it’s battery [is] low, which place is it actually occupying in your mind? The sur-face, sleek, reassuring, becomes sur-fake. This polymorphous inter-face is turning into a dialogue between your neurosis and your psychosis. Who is who in this story ? The screen probably incarnates our lives, and with such talent, it is soon more real than our own ‘carne’ (flesh).

See more of the photographer's series below. When you're done, you may want to consider a digital detox.

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