Photographer Henry Hargreaves, recently featured on Cool Hunting, envisions consumer technology as something harder to digest than we may want to admit.
Inspired by an internet video of a Japanese youth deep frying and eating his PSP, Hargreaves decided to refine the idea by toning down the danger and upping the artistry. With the concept in tow, Hargreaves began gathering up used gadgets—ranging from MacBooks to Game Boys to external hard drives—from friends who were willing to indulge his artistic vision.
Of course, not-so-consumable hazardous material challenged Hargreaves to create an illusion.
When asked about the obvious dilemmas one faces when deep frying a battery pack, Hargreaves confesses that the objects are actually models made from foam core and decorated with images of the actual devices. "I was nervous about what would happen when I put them in 400 degree oil—were these things going to kick back at me?" Hargreaves tells Cool Hunting. With this added precaution, Hargreaves and food stylist Caitlin Levin went to work plating up the tech gadgets in the style of a greasy spoon diner.
Hargreaves sees a natural narrative between fast food and mobile technology. As he explains, "You get the device, you're excited about it, you consume it, and then you disregard it." While the self-taught photographer does a fair amount of commercial work—including food photography—his side projects tend to challenge traditional genres. In the case of "Deep Fried Gadgets", Hargreaves wanted to break out of the "food porn" look by presenting something that was at once mouthwatering and repulsive.