Martin Hertig

Smartphone Confessions, 2020

No other object of the last decades has changed our habits as much as the smartphone. The conversation around this total object has shifted from an early enthusiasm for endless possibilities to one of dependency, demanding monitoring of ‘screen-time’, and even ‘digital detox’.

Smartphone Confessions is an ever-evolving collection of personal anecdotes around relationships that people have with their phones.

The aim of this platform is to stimulate the discussion around how we want to live with smartphones and also to get an insight into how people feel about their relationship with their smartphone. We are interested in your anecdotes about the last time you loved or hated your phone / your relationship in general / inputs what would make the perfect smartphone or practical advice on how to not turn into a smombie.

This website is part of a design research project around the effects of smartphone usage conducted by Alain Bellet, Lison Christe and Martin Hertig at ECAL/University of Art and Design Lausanne. This research project proposes to explore new forms of interaction with the data flows passing through our smartphone, questioning the status of total object that this device has acquired. Interfaces are the dominant cultural form of our time. So much of contemporary culture and interactions is taking place through interfaces; interfaces are part of cultural expression and participation. Therefore, questioning the impact of the mechanisms underlying current smartphone interfaces is also a societal interest.

By imagining, designing and prototyping new objects or apparatuses, this project aims to offer proposals for re-appropriation, re-extraction of certain features locked in the smartphone, thereby allowing a different, more customizable access to data or functions. Consequently, fostering a shift from the glowing rectangle to a more detached and focused interaction, away from the screen.

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