”A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.” The quote is from Herbert Simons, economist, psychologist and Nobel Laureate.
In 2020 August Eriksson placed his sign Var uppmärksam (Pay attention) on different locations in Stockholm, asking the observer to focus. The work is based on a sign in aluminum with black text on a yellow background with a red border, that resembles a traffic sign. A traffic sign is a voice of authority, an imperative. It must have straightforward, unambiguous and easy-to-read prompts. It calls for attention to something. But what if it calls for attention to attention itself?
The first part of the project was shown at the group exhibition Tyst vår (Silent Spring) next to Kaknästornet in Stockholm. In part two, Eriksson put up his signs in different places in Stockholm’s street space and photographed them. Later the same year Eriksson installed the piece on the imposing black oak portal of Stockholm School of Economics.
What deserves our attention in a time of endless information, possibilities and distractions?