MLM

A text accompanying a work at Art Motiers / en français ici

MLM (Feed)


For Motiers I wanted to produce something that was not spectacular, something that might even be invisible, and that could, in some ways, function as a (lol) critique or at least a counterpoint to the imperative to spectacle and the machinations that accompany it (advertising, self promotion, pride, compulsory diffusion).
The Selecta or Automat collapses several actions or processes into one site: storage, display, sale, and acquisition. I thought this was an interesting parallel to the ongoing collapse of other processes.
MLM refers to Multi-Level Marketing and Mother’s Love Mechanized. The first is a way of structuring individuals in an organization and the other is a description of the origin of the act of consumption or consumerism.


Multi Level Marketing
Also known as pyramid marketing, MLM salespeople are expected to sell products directly to consumers by means of relationship referrals and word of mouth marketing, but more importantly they are incentivized to recruit others to join the company’s distribution chain as fellow salespeople so that these can become down line distributors. MLMs function by converting any existing network into a network of sales and consumption. MLMs function because participants are encouraged to hold onto the belief that they might one day level up.


Mother’s Love Mechanized
The artist Morgan Sutherland wrote that “consumerism is oral fixation, a projection of childlike needs, mothers love mechanized…deep pain erupting in concert from generations of cruelty, abandonment, malnourishment, witheld love” The gratification we seek in the consumerist guesture is now omnipresent.


With the increase in gamification and financializaition in all aspects and spheres of our lives, all actions become transactions.
The double title of MLM refers to the increasingly present machinations that compel us to market, advertise and eventually consume; not just objects, but mediated versions of eachother and our lives.


Wait, its all merch? Always has been.

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