Being an artist in 2018 has taught me a lot, but being a writer has taught me even more. The *second* I realized what I wanted to say in this scary yet necessary documentary: ATTN4$, was the second I realized I couldn’t just put it in a book. That one of my favorite intellectuals, Marshall McLuhan, was right. The medium *is* the message. And how I chose to present this information was going to be just as important—if not more so— than the information itself.

So I had to take my introverted writer’s ass—who would’ve otherwise been happy to explain all of this in a 40,000 word thesis—and hit the streets. lol. I felt immediate failure when I realized it was going to be up to *me* to find the right camera man, director, makeup artist. As a writer, film is not my medium. I had to rent a studio. I had to ask friends to come in and play parts. We literally had to create a mini-ecosystem to tell this story, and I’m just so happy we pulled it off.

When Lex and Dean came into the studio, the cameras on their shoulders looked like rocket ship equipment. I was unaware cameras could even look that scientific. And there I was, with a masking layer of makeup and flood lights bright enough to zap me into a pounding migraine, just to expose my fears right into them.

I got into squabbles with more than one artist during the making of this doc. They didn’t want to hear it. They were afraid what I have to say would mean “there’s no point”. That, if what I’m saying is true, they should just all just give up now and become substitute teachers. But as bluntly as I tried to trace what is happening to art, intellectualism and the quality of human relationships, none of it was to diminish meaning from it. All of this, was to show how much of a point there actually is. 

A friend asked me what the “main thing” I wanted everyone to walk away with after watching ATTN4$, and my documentarian answer is this: Advertisement business models that exploit our natural vulnerabilities just to harvest attention just for attention’s sake, threaten the integrity of everyday life because they deteriorate the collective attention span which we need in order to live meaningful lives. But my real answer, the answer from the heart is: yo—I’m scared.

thanks for your attention,

alex wolf sig