Photographer highlights 'sacred symbolism' of Apple packaging

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The packaging for Apple's AirPods, Apple Pencil, and more, become art objects in photographer Johann Clausen's new collection.

All technology devices are now subjected to unboxing videos, but Apple's packaging has consistently received the most attention. That includes the most attention from Apple, too, which has famously has a "packaging room" with staff doing nothing but opening boxes to try out new designs. Now, however, an independent photographer has launched a series of art shots examining the packaging we usually throw away.

"The inner part of the packaging of my AirPods was flying around the studio and looked kind of interesting," photographer Johann Clausen told design magazine Wallpaper*. "So I held it in front of the camera and started playing around with it."

Clausen has worked professionally with Wallpaper* magazine, BMW, Cartier and Hermes. But this collection was reportedly a personal project.

"You don't usually pay attention to the packaging: it's hardly noticeable when you're excited about your new product," he continues. "They are well-engineered and well-designed white cardboard objects which are negative shapes of the objects they contain."

"These supposedly unimportant objects convey the 'spirit' of the Apple products that have taken so much importance in many of our lives," says Clausen. "They speak the same visual language and give off a familiar, comforting aura."

Extreme closeup photography turns AirPods and Apple Pencil packaging into art objects. Source: photographer Johann Clausen, Wallpaper* magazine
Extreme closeup photography turns AirPods and Apple Pencil packaging into art objects. Source: photographer Johann Clausen, Wallpaper* magazine

Clausen's collection in Wallpaper* consists of sometimes extreme closeups of detail in the packaging. The images are also untitled, which means they are rather freed from their usual context.

"We were surrounded by all the different white objects resembling each other," continues Clausen. "After a while, we started to forget the scale of the objects and the small packages suddenly became spacious and imposing. At this point, it felt like photographing utopian architectural models rather than just packaging."

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