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“Insidious Manipulation”


All motifs from the thematic photo sequence showcased here are available in high-quality limited editions signed by the artist, in a variety of mediums, formats and executions. You will find further details under Limited Editions.


An immemorial symbol

The arrow is a nearly universal symbol which has a meaning common to most cultures since time immemorial: it shows the way. It helps us get our bearings and find the right way. The arrow is a symbol which we follow blindly. But does it deserve this basic, unquestioning trust? That is the question this photo sequence poses.

We encounter the arrow every single day of our lives – literally at every turn. We follow the arrow while negotiating public roads – on traffic signs and in our GPS navigation devices. On hiking trails, the arrow proves to be quite useful; marking emergency exits and escape routes, it may even save our life. People learn to follow arrows – for their own safety. And every time someone wants to influence our actions, this symbol is used. In our workday or in our spare time, in scientific publications or in comics, in all aspects of life and in all media, either as tangible guidepost or virtual visualization to click on the arrow is an ever-present fixture.


A matter of trust

We must ask ourselves though; can we actually trust this symbol in which we put so much store? Does the arrow actually guide us to our desired destination? Is it not in reality often the case that the arrow misleads rather than leads us? The best cautionary example for this is the world of advertising which consistently uses this and other symbols of similar effect to hijack our attention to sell us a commodity or piece of information.

Exploiting the unquestioning trust we place in such symbols, they are used to manipulate our thoughts, feelings and actions.

VIRAL CONTROL shows us in manifold ways how the arrow and other such symbols are misused to exercise a subliminal sell. Taken in by its enticements we give ourselves over unwittingly to a remote control.


A plethora of allurements

Despite diversity of form and color of the arrows depicted in the different compositions of the photo sequence, they have one thing in common: an undeniable appeal. Hidden behind each motif is a mere intimation of an allurement – all the more enticing for its tantalizing elusiveness. More, the direction to which the arrows point is not always clear and can sometimes even be confusing.

Often, the arrow itself is only faintly discernible. In all compositions, nonetheless, the arrow is a forceful presence which, without question, piques the viewer’s curiosity. VIRAL CONTROL covers the entire range of inducements, from subliminal intimation to unequivocal directive.


Liberty of choice

This photo sequence was conceived to provide fresh impetus for more personal responsibility through exercising scrutiny before reaching a decision, be it for or against or how far to follow a piece of advice, a trend or a designated path. VIRAL CONTROL warns us of the usurpation of our liberty of choice lurking at every turn.

With compelling and intriguing images, the sequence aims to instill an awareness of our self-determination so that we do not permit ourselves to become pawns or willing slaves of others.

Then that is what inevitably happens when we give up our freedom of choice and self-direction and do without thinking what others expect of us.


Critical thinking

As thinking beings we not only have the right but also the duty to call into question whether the path we have taken is the right one. We must also ask ourselves whether we have gone a certain direction simply because many other people do so. Might it not be better for us to make pause to reconsider or even to turn back? It is actually not only as consumers that we are led astray by relentless allurements.

Demagogues of every persuasion have been exploiting this mechanism since time immemorial to mobilize the masses. They are well aware of the fact that the more people they get to blindly swim with the tide, the easier it is to sweep even more people along in their wake. For this reason, our constant vigilance is indispensable and every step we take must be carefully considered.


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