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Magnified Smudges Turn Smartphone Screens into Art

Arslan Sukan's giant portraits show the abstract beauty of swiping.
February 3, 2015, 12:30am
Images courtesy the artist

Whether we're swiping through our news feeds, snapping quick photos, or speed typing emoji-filled text messages, we've constantly got our hands on our digital devices. Curious about the touchscreens that bridge our real and virtual lives, artist Arslan Sukan focused in on the fingerprints, dusts, and cracks we leave behind on them.

For his series While you were surfing, which is currently on display at FIVE ELEVEN gallery, Sukan scanned and enlarged iPhone surfaces filled with finger streaks until they became unrecognizable abstract landscapes without earthly signifiers. He then printed the works on reflective metallic paper that mirrors the room that surrounds, making sure not to mar their surfaces with a single smudge.

“These works are visualizing the physical trace of our subconscious lives while we are surfing in the virtual world,” Sukan told The Creators Project. “I’m questioning 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 the physical world.”

Below, check out images from Arslan Sukan's While you were surfing:

Arslan Sukan's While You Are Surfing installation is currently on view at Five Eleven through February 7, 2015.


Cracked iPhone Screens Become Accidental Abstract Art

Watching Iridescent Ink Spread On Fingerprints Is Visual Heaven

Magnified Smartphone Screens Create Pixelated Masterpieces