Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard
Curated by Christopher Morgan
An exhibition exploring themes of reproduction, representation and dualism within a hyperreal age of mass media and a free market approach to distribution and communication. HOT TRIGGER presents work by seven artists who acknowledge existing cycles of assimilation and appropriation of information, imagery and cultural references within modern life. Many of the artists ask us to consider the systems with which such information is validated. The importance and the role that subjectivity plays when dealing with modern media in the hands of modern formats.
With an abundance of media at hand, and the cyclical nature of appropriation, these artists consider the discordant nature that belies notions of both the ‘ideal’, and the ‘realised’. The real and the simulated. HOT TRIGGER takes its title from an e-commerce marketing strategy and behavioural model developed by Dr. BJ Fogg, professor at Stanford University. Fogg’s behavioural model explains how Hot Triggers can be incorporated into modern media formats to change behaviour in positive ways (causing a person to take action) in particular through social media. A ‘hot’ trigger is a tool which motivated individuals can use to take action ‘right away’. Fogg explains that Facebook is very good at changing the behaviour of its users. For example, persuading a user to link from their emails, to their Facebook account just because Facebook lets them know that someone has tagged them in a photo.
Almost immediately, the already curious user has gone from wanting to check their emails to wanting to view photos of themselves on Facebook. As Fogg explains, you were already motivated enough to check your emails, ie, to know more, to get information related directly to you. Once you have accessed your Facebook account you are then at the hands of the advertising tools Facebook already has in place. By feeding the individual with more information about themselves and a ‘hot trigger’ link, the individual has the ability to act straight away. The action is instantaneous, and led by curiosity.
There is an obvious link then between the need to learn more about oneself, and the ability and motivation involved in the way people use the internet. Curiosity and the ease with which one can access different media, allows for a very fluid, very unregulated medium for information and image appropriation.
It is this accessibility which has revolutionised how we consume media. Accessibility and almost unconscious action has led to a medium which provides us with more readily consumable information than ever before. Regulated or not it is present within our lives and within contemporary culture. It is used, reused and reconfigured only to be put back into the mix and reconstituted in a seemingly endless loop. There is a blurring of lines between the consumers and the authors of this media, both feeding and consuming simultaneously.