When the only option is flux, everything becomes ephemeral, and then following this logic, everything lives, and then dies – perhaps it’s more appropriate to describe it as ‘forgotten’? The ‘flux’ that I speak of here is the flux that is a thinly veiled path of consumption. It is too much – and too easy – to be cynical about this. It is also too defeatist to be flaccid and accepting of these terms of sale. Consumption, and its architecture of flux are is in many senses a new medium of creative production. It is no longer about the object, but what it is connected to, what network it forms a part of, and the path that thing flows along. It’s also about that moment – the engagement of content, being connected to the path.
Jonas Lund’s ‘We See In Every Direction’ is about engagement and attention itself in an economy that is reliant of captivating us. It is as much a calculated piece of design as it is a piece of art. It’s is also a subtly political thing. Lund’s browser tracks where people have been – the artist knows that the person who came into the gallery this morning googled ‘boobs’ (I’m not going to lie, I thought the cliché was great) the artist also knows that we have looked up ‘We See In Every Direction’s website to give visitors a sense of the context of his work. Big data forms an easily accessible and open part of the work. Big data is often so meta that we mistake it for nothing at all. That is what it wants us to think.
Jonas Lund’s work offers a way of seeing things – a way of thinking about the art object from the designed one, from the commercial one. Using the work one can either be ‘active’ or ‘passive’. Either you fight for total control or you quietly sit and watch what others are watching. We are at once a voyeur as we are the active browser - that’s the nature of the net really. It actively perverts these traditional roles of seeing and communicating by exposing them. You know how many people are watching you because the program tells you. In that sense, it provokes us to think of the very nature of being connected itself, through undermining and exposing those very connections that so ubiquitously capture our – now valuable – attention. We are connected, and produce and consume simultaneously.
Using ‘Wee See In Every Direction’, we are reminded that we are not alone, that others can see and intervene in our online lives. The flow of images that passes along our paths is controlled and contrived – exposing to us a context of fashion trend through attrition and appropriation. What we seek is often what we have watched, what we know and what we aspire to be. They can have our eyes, and if they have our attention, their information becomes valuable, it gains traction (read: capital). Who ‘they’ are remains to be seen, and is often different for each of us. For me the other day, it was the algorithim peddling flights to Berlin and Nike Roshe Runs.
© Ronnie Mothman