Review of Dysconnected, by Anton Scamvougeras

Dysconnected

I won a copy of Dysconnected, by Anton Scamvougeras through Goodreads.

Description:

Isolated By Our Mobile Devices’ features striking images alongside thought provoking quotes that together encourage us to be mindful of the ways in which our mobile devices are changing our lives.

We all know how useful, powerful, and delightful our cell phones or tablets can be, but a growing number of us also have a sense that there’s something potentially disturbing about the way they have so rapidly taken up such a large and central space in our lives. Smartphones have been shown to interfere with our ability to concentrate on a lecture, drive a car, empathize with a stranger, respond to a family member, or get a good night’s sleep.

Are we losing the capacity for quiet solitude? Are we filling all previously-empty spaces in our days with electronic ‘busy-ness’? Have online ‘friends’ taken the place of the other sort? Have second lives replaced our first? And, if this is the case, should it be cause for any concern?

‘Dysconnected’ is a series of over 75 striking pen and ink illustrations depicting humans isolated by their personal technology. Accompanying quotes, opinions, ideas, and facts all encourage reflection.

The book also includes two dense pages of ‘Phone Facts’. The images show the effects that mobile devices are having on friendships, couples, families, work, play, study, life, and our capacity for solitude. In all, a thought provoking visual essay with brief passages of interwoven text. Designed to be read through, or dipped into time and again.

Review:

I have to admit I’m not all together sure how one goes about reviewing a socially commentative art book. But I’m gonna give it a go. I read this in one sitting and it took half an hour or so. I could have read it faster, but I pondered over some of the pictures. They are a collection of familiar scene, some from real life, some from famous art pieces. All altered to highlight the isolating tendencies of modern mobile technologies. The image on the cover is pretty indicative of what you’ll find inside, just loosely drawn images instead of a photographed backdrop.

Honestly,  I didn’t find anything new or exciting in this. I’ve seen several artist address this subject in much the same manner recently. But is was thought provoking to see it collated in an actual book and I think it’s a great conversation starter. I’ve left out on the coffee table and several people have flipped through it.

It’s also probably worth noting that while I read it, both of my children were playing on their tablets and I received a text from my husband that I put the book down and checked. So, there are real, relatable points to be made around human technology usage.


What I’m drinking:  Oh, this is a bit embarrassing, but it’s Bota Box red wine, from Costco.

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