The video Fire2Fire draws upon the many layers of commodification which intersect in contemporary society. Aspirational religious groups like churches, which preach the ‘prosperity gospel’, combine Biblical language with marketing jargon about self-commodification. But the promise of infinite self-actualisation and attainable dreams runs alongside the constant coverage of violence and panic seen online. People are told they can become and achieve anything while seeing evidence of the depths humanity can sink into.
With this work CUSS Group wants to immerse the viewer in a world of dreams for sale, as they experience a clutter of images and slogans of success whenever they go online. The work replicates the everyday online experience of pop-up ads, self-actualisation videos and clickbait get-rich-quick schemes. Fire2Fire can be contextualised as a real life campaign, influenced by the language and visuals used by self-help gurus, wealth coaches and prosperity pastors.
These schemes all appeal to the figure of the ‘prosumer’, that is, they promise to provide you with mechanisms to sell yourself. They are not offering a commodity or a profit, but supposedly secret tools to unlock the higher levels of self-commodification. For a hefty fee – you are given guidelines on the path to self-actualisation. This is a work that reveals its absence. There is no product to sell, no miracle cure but, instead, a realisation arises of it being all smoke and mirrors, with nothing underneath.