‘Distracted Jim’ Morrison has the iPhone blues

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Jim Morrison with iPhone
The late Jim Morrison has a way of making us think about our addictions.
Illustration: Jason Kinsella

The late Jim Morrison had a lot to say during his short life. He poured his ideas into salient psychedelic rock music and imparted prophetic wisdom during interviews with the press.

Oslo-based adman Jason Kinsella set out to prove that some of Morrison’s thoughts on the power of media are truer now than some 50 years ago.

To give the Doors frontman new relevance, Kinsella altered black-and-white photographs of Morrison to include an iPhone in his hands. The photos appear next to comments Morrison made during his career about media and its impact on society.

The project, Distracted Jim, should give us some pause.

Jim Morrison with iPhone

“After listening to a 1970 interview with Morrison, I was struck by how prescient some of his views were on the power of media in society,” Kinsella explains on the website devoted to the project. “After digging into several more interviews, it seemed to me that his prognostications were more relevant today.

“The intention is to emphasize how relevant some of those 50-year-old quotes are in the context of today’s world of social media. No doubt he was a man ahead of his time.”

Jim Morrison with iPhone
Mind blown.
Illustration: Jason Kinsella

Each photo and quote appear like an ad not unlike some of Apple’s famous “Think Different” ads featuring prominent people.

The spark for the project came when Kinsella saw a photo of Morrison holding a microphone.

“I had to do a double take because at first, I thought he was holding an iPhone,” Kinsella told Cult of Mac. “(The) seed for the idea was planted.”

Kinsella searched for photos where an iPhone could be photoshopped into Morrison’s hand and look natural.

He then searched through interviews to see if you could Morrison find quotes that would play off the images.

Jim Morrison with iPhone
Does the iPhone make him a lesser Lizard King?
Illustration: Jason Kinsella

“The result ended up being surprising, relevant and delightfully unexpected,” he said.

Kinsella, 48, is the associate creative director of the ad agency ANTI. In 2013, he and a colleague created a stop-action short film of a classic Macintosh computer being built out of legos. The finished product included a dock for an iPad to serve as the Mac screen.