Why do we want your attention?



(Image: AttentionTrust)

Attention was big in 1997. Michael Golhhaber describes the new Attention Economy; a place where it it is not merely “information” that is the prime market driver, but the attention we pay to it. And of course this is true – even more so now, and as we have moved to an online environment where attention monitoring tracking and reporting is possible, our attention spans are now becoming more and more ‘transparent’. We are able to comment on content; reblog events, news, and articles; rate books, films, holidays, other people even. Every click is a statistic, a tracked affiliate link, a referrer ID.

If no one pays us attention in our online space, we are of course talking to ourselves, but nowadays, thanks to egosurf, technorati et al, everyone knows if we are attracting attention or not. Now it seems, we are paying a little more “attention” to attention. The Attention Trust is a “non-profit” organization dedicated to promoting the basic rights of attention owners. Its Principles are as follows:

“When you pay attention to something (and when you ignore something), data is created. This “attention data” is a valuable resource that reflects your interests, your activities and your values, and it serves as a proxy for your attention. AttentionTrust and our members believe that you have the following rights:
1. Property – You own your attention and can store it wherever you wish. You have CONTROL.
2. Mobility – You can securely move your attention wherever you want whenever you want to. You have the ability to TRANSFER your attention.
3. Economy – You can pay attention to whomever you wish and receive value in return. Your attention has WORTH.
4. Transparency – You can see exactly how your attention is being used. You can DECIDE who you trust.

When you give your attention to any entity that’s an member, these rights are guaranteed.”

We will be considering how these principles of attention can be explored in the gallery / exhibition space.


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