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Francesca Gavin’s Watch This Space
Jon Rafman, “You are Standing an Open Field (Fire)”, 2017. Archival pigment print and resin, on aluminium Unique 59 x 79 inches (159 x 200.6 cm)Courtesy of the artist

The art book exploring our addiction to being online

Francesca Gavin uses contemporary artists such as Ed Atkins, Jon Rafman, and Cécile B. Evans to illustrate how screens have insidiously infiltrated and accelerated our lives

Do you remember that sinking feeling you get when your phone is moments from dying and your friend won’t pick up theirs to tell you where to meet? Or when you can’t sleep without one more infinite scroll through the pits of your ex boyfriend’s new girlfriend’s best friend’s Instagram? It’s moments like these that you realise how utterly reliant we are on our phones to keep us functioning.

Francesca Gavin’s new book, Watch this Space, a limited edition collaboration with Luke Powell and Jody Hudson-Powell, probes this very phenomenon and questions how and why screens have managed to insidiously infiltrate and accelerate our lives. In Gavin’s words, “Watch This Space offers an in-depth analysis of the object that has become an extension of our modern bodies, exploring the screen’s impact on our emotions and social interactions.”

Through the work of artists such as Ed Atkins, Lawrence Lek, Cory ArcangelJon Rafman, Cécile B. Evans, and Seana Gavin, among others, the book looks at representations of the screen in contemporary art. For example, Evans’ work charts the movement of data and invites viewers to engage with a narrative that unfolds through robots and screens. Whereas Arcangel dissects the fine intersection between pop culture and technology with a humorous eye; reappropriating nostalgic imagery from video games and YouTube.

As Gavin concludes, “The screen defines the twenty-first century. It is time we worked out why.”

Watch This Space will soon be available from Antenne Books