Tabitha Soren’s project Surface Tension is made by shooting the grime and debris that accumulates on her iPad. The background images are appropriated from her various devices through social media, images texted to her and from her web history. Soren creates the images about digital culture with an analogue large format view camera. The vigorous and expressive gestures on the surface of the image reflect the conflict between reality and fiction and between our embodied lives and our online, mediated lives. The photographs put in sharp focus what we normally try to look past and ignore on our screens. The images show the dystopian outside world swirling with the fingerprints and greasy smears of our embodied selves. The human markings are seemingly at odds with the chilly detachment and objectivity of the information that flows towards us, unrelentingly. In this project, the viewer is forced to see an everyday object in a way they usually don’t. The book is accompanied by an essay by Jia Tolentino, a staff writer for the New Yorker and the author of the essay collection Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion.
64pp, 224 × 340 mm, 41 colour photographs
Essay by Jia Tolentino
RVB Books, September 2021