Meggan Gould Turns Dirty iPads Into Ghostly, Erratic Art

Meggan Gould Surface Tension iPad Image 1

All photographs taken by Meggan Gould. Used with permission.

How often do you touch your iPad? Twenty? A hundred? Hundreds of thousands times? The average iPad users probably leaves well over a million invisible fingerprints strewn all over their tablet and while most of us would wipe our screen clean before things get too gross, Meggan Gould turns our daily electronics addiction into photographic art.

In the latest volume of her Surface Tension series Gould documents how often we use our touchscreen our devices using a photocopier. Her images start off by passing around two tablets between herself, her husband Bob, and their four-year old daughter. Once the touchscreens have been marked up she scans the tablets using a photocopier. Using Photoshop she extracts these ghostly markings to create erratic images. Read on to read the full story and to see more of Gould’s images.

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“The information left by our bodies as we use the devices, visual information in the form of grime and streaks that is ostensibly invisible,” Gould expounded. As an undergraduate Gould studied anthropology and she believes much of her artistic work draws from her interests in the use of things, objects, and places.

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“I am always fascinated by the layers of vision through which we experience various aspects of the world,” Gould, who currently teaches photography at the University of New Mexico, explained. “What we look at or through without acknowledging a visual presence.”

It’s a series that Gould is continues to work on, though not with any regularity or planned though. Rather the photography professor will take scans of the iPads on different days. “I am not particularly interested in forcing a point about a gesture or physical movement […] I am more drawn to the natural accumulation of gestures.

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Beyond her Surface Tension series, Gould is also creating a body of work entitled “Bureau of Visual Instruction,” which explores vision, visual detritus, mediation, and technologies.

For more of Meggan Gould’s work, visit her website.

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Kevin Lee

Kevin Lee is a freelance journalist and photographer based in Brooklyn.