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This is what the nightmare of multitasking looks like

Pierre Buttin examines the 'fragmentation of our digital lives' in new photo series

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Pierre Buttin, like most consumers of technology, does a lot of multitasking. Unlike most, however, he has a digital record to prove it.

For one week, the French artist took a screenshot every time he switched apps on his laptop or smartphone. He then compiled the screenshots for each day into a single image, and published them online as part of his "Day on a device" series. The result is a frenetic, glitchy glimpse into Buttin's technological existence. His laptop activity seems especially chaotic from Monday through Thursday, though things calm down from Friday to Sunday. His phone activity remains consistently hectic throughout the week.

Buttin, who is based in Lyon, appears to have a keen interest in screenshot-based art. Earlier this year, he published "Ten Days on Tinder" — a series of abstract images, each compiled from 100 screenshots of Tinder profiles. Another ongoing series, titled "Landscapes," combines screenshots of the 100 most visited websites in the world. The aim of "Day on a device," he says, is to "reflect the fragmentation of our digital lives."

"Indeed, the idea of multitasking makes me feel good and productive; yet in practice, it often results in a continuous stream of interruptions and lack of focus," Buttin said in an email to The Verge. "At the end of the day, I have the impression to have accomplished nothing — which makes me sad."

The full "Day on a device" series is available on Buttin's website.


Laptop, Monday