Life Is Bait
:: getting to the meat of the matter


(mac os)

In 1994, the McDonald's Corporation, taking advantage of United Kingdom libel laws which tend to favor the plaintiff, sued several eco-activists for libel. That case, dubbed the McLibel case, inspired Life is Bait.

Life is Bait is an attempt to capture the consumer culture environment, in which we are bombarded from all sides with temptations and lures to buy something. Often, this "bait " is cast in terms that make the purchase appear beneficial to an individual's life, and, furthermore, make the producer of the product out as deeply concerned for the individual's well-being. This concern is hypocritical and short-lived, lasting only long enough to extract money and, in the end, resulting in events that are actually detrimental to the health of the individual, the culture and the ecology.

We use the "bait box", or "collage of temptation" as the central metaphor of all this consumer bait floating about. In the same way the consumer is tempted to buy and buy, we wanted to tempt the user to fully explore the issues we had to present. Beside the bait box, Life is Bait consists of three other, smaller windows. Initially, the smaller windows, labeled "McDonald's", "McLibel Two", and "Neutral", are empty. The large window, labeled "Bait", has a multitude of visual elements moving around inside of it. When the user clicks on any of these elements, he gets a proxy of it attached to his cursor. If he then drags-and-drops it into one of the smaller window, a text-field appears in the smaller window. Dragging the same object into all three different windows produces three different texts, each of which represent the views expressed by that particular party to the action.

Life is Bait was commisioned by the Engliash Arts Council

Jason E. Lewis
Paul Trevor




Director projector for Mac OS


The Hub Club Arts Council Award Winners Show, London, April 1996