Pickersgill was inspired after seeing a family sitting in a cafe next to him that wasn’t communicate with each other because of their phones. “It was one of those moments where you see something so amazingly common that it startles you into consciousness of what’s actually happening and it is impossible to forget,” he wrote on the project website. “I see this family at the grocery store, in classrooms, on the side of the highway and in my own bed as I fall asleep next to my wife. We rest back to back on our sides coddling our small, cold, illuminated devices every night.”
Pickersgill, who is an artist with a Master of Fine Arts degree and teaches lectures, achieved the surreal effect in his photos by asking strangers and friends to remain still, removing their cellphones and then taking the shot.
The project inspiration came from a chance encounter in a NYC cafe