University of Sussex: BA Media Practice

The Trance of the Consumerism

The Trance of Consumerism


Andrew Swift

We follow a group of people in an abstract CGI universe as they are lured by advertisements encouraging consumerism, and the false realities these promise. An individual breaks away from the group and thinks for themselves. This enables them to see that the adverts’ fake promises of happiness. The false scene around them disintegrates. leaving a dead, desolate landscape of mud and rubble behind.

Companies rely on consumerism to convince us to buy as much as possible for their benefit through advertising. Often the things that appear so good in the adverts turn out to be unnecessary, rarely bringing the happiness implied. The animation explores this illusion of pleasure, building on other works such as Steve Cutts’ Happiness. However, it goes beyond this, suggesting that by thinking for ourselves, we can see through this deception as the character does. CGI is the ideal medium through which to explore abstract scenes such as this, as exemplified by Evan Viera’s Caldera.