I created NoShow without knowing just how relevant it would become in the post election world of fake news and “alternative facts”. My art revolves around photographs as I explore the social and psychological effects of technology, social media, and their intertwined relationship to the image. In 2015 my project “Removed” went viral. The work which questions the use of digital devices by showing people staring into empty hands was seen by millions around the world who were implicated by viewing the work itself. The project shifted my understanding of the complexities that exist in an image-based and digitized global society. Since the advent of photography, news companies have profited by gaining trust through the notion that photos are objective. Most Americans get their news from social media where truth and satire are hard to differentiate. It was through Facebook that I discovered the event titled “Fred Durst LIVE at Rose’s Department Store”. Thousands shared the page and marked themselves as “going” but because the event looked like any other on Facebook, no one knew if Fred Durst would be a no-show. I went to the event, met the man who created it, and photographed those who attended. When Mr. Durst didn’t show, the duped attendees responses ranged from disappointment to enthusiasm just to have something to do. Afterwards, my Facebook feed began to display more fake events as trolls starting making their own events. They followed a formula of a semi-forgotten pop group playing at a banal shopping center like the local Sears Outlet or Taco Bell. I spent 2016 attending as many fake Facebook events as I could. After traveling to events from Atlanta to Chicago, I created a sub series of images titled “Hosted By” to get into the minds of the event creators. Through Skype interviews I made portraits with a monitor mounted to a chair which became the body of the event creator. The resulting portraits present the fleeting face that makes up the ethos of our digital world.
About Eric Pickersgill
Eric Pickersgill is a full time artist, husband, and soon to be father working in North Carolina. He was born in Homestead, Florida in 1986 and spent his teenage years in Charlotte, North Carolina. He received a Master of Fine Arts degree from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2015 and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a concentration in Fine Art Photography from Columbia College Chicago in 2011. Between 2011 and 2013 Eric taught high school in Charlotte, NC via Teach for America.
His passion for teaching and image making allows him to see the connections that the two share. In his work, Eric explores the ways technology, the internet, social media, and photography influence the world. His choice of large format film cameras help him to work thoughtfully, slowly, and meticulously. Eric often works in public settings, relying on the building of relationships in order to make photographs.
Eric has exhibited and presented his work internationally at institutions, galleries, and art fairs such as The North Carolina Museum of Art, Pantheon-Sorbonne University, The Ackland Art Museum, Rick Wester Fine Art, Pulse Art Fair Miami, AIPAD, and many more.