ONE TO ONE with Anton Scamvougeras

For many of us, our phones have almost become extra limbs. But what do we lose out on when clicking and texting take the place of wondering and listening?

Vancouver-based neuropsychiatrist and artist Anton Scamvougeras’s book, Dysconnected, is full of pen and ink drawings exploring how our mobile devices creep into our social and internal spaces.

In November, the Dysconnected gallery show featuring 64 of the book’s original drawings opened at the hfa contemporary gallery (320 – 1000 Parker Street, Vancouver BC). Anton donated a portion of sales from signed, limited-edition prints at the show opening to ONE TO ONE (thanks, Anton)!

Dysconnected will run at the hfa contemporary gallery until December 15, 2017. The gallery is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday—just make sure to call ahead at (604-876-7606) to make a viewing appointment.

For our inaugural “ONE TO ONE with…” post, we picked Anton’s brain to learn what books are fit for a thinker like him!

Why do you read? To be surprised; to laugh; to be thrilled; to be intrigued. To gain knowledge; to safely take risks; to be puzzled; to be offended. To be saddened but somehow feel better for it. To gather raw material with which to think; to experience what it is to be somebody else; to have things to discuss with my family and friends; to be transported; to be delighted; to imagine; to connect. (This could go on and on…)

What book should everyone read and why? The book that is begged by the last book which they have read, because one book leads to another and, if you have average luck, a handful of books through your life will be, for you, the right book at the right time.

Some books that happened to hit the spot for me, or close to it include Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Hoban’s Riddley Walker, Saramago’s Blindness, Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, Russo’s Straight Man, Coetzee’s Waiting For The Barbarians and Disgrace, Watt’s The Way of Zen, Lodge’s Changing Places, more than one book by Graham Greene, Boyden’s Three Day Road, Tóibin’s The Master, di Lampedusa’s The Leopard, Kazantzakis’ Freedom or Death, Beatty’s The Sellout, Frie’s Not in My Family, Richler’s Barney’s Version.

What is your favourite book to read to children? Mr. Gumpy’s Outing, written and wonderfully illustrated by John Burningham.

Where’s your favourite place to read? In the sun. As I don’t get to do that often, next favourite is at an old wooden table that we have, made by a friend 30 years ago.

Currently reading: Death Comes for the Archbishop, by Willa Cather (This month’s reading with my book club. We’ve been together 17 years. Hi guys!)

Guilty pleasure read: Any book by Patricia Highsmith.

Favourite word this moment: Skedaddle

“ONE TO ONE with…” is a Q & A series with ONE TO ONE’s friends and members of the literary world. Know someone who should be featured? Drop us a line at