unwellbeing by Anne Guest and Richard Nicholls

A recent study shows that an individual in the UK interacts with their electronic device an average 28 times a day, with a young person interacting up to 150 times a day.

The original photograph has been manipulated using a digital databending technique to produce a glitch image. It has been created by inserting 28 pieces of text from Bollnow’s writings into the jpeg file of the portrait to disrupt the code.

Otto Bollnow, a German philosopher, described spatial and architectural anthropology in his book ‘Human Space’. He theorised that the house is the centre of an individuals world and offers the occupant security from the outside world. We contend that the emergence and accessibility of the Internet via electronic devices has eroded the protection from the ‘external chaos’, as Bollnow referred to the outside world. The constant pressure on the individual from social media and 24 hour news has caused the boundaries between the internal and external worlds to be blurred when it is allowed inside via our electronic screens.

Compulsive checking of phones and devices by the individual can lead to changes in human behaviour, a decline in relationships and the deterioration of mental health. The awareness of the potential harm of our modern lives, and of our general wellbeing is fast becoming a cultural and political issue.