VENDING MACHINES: PHOTOGRAPHY
There is an aphorism that reads: “Change is inevitable—except from a vending machine.” Mount Fuji will always be Mount Fuji, the sky will always be blue, dog will always be man’s best friend, your favorite bag of barbeque potato chips will always be in slot B8 and so on. None of these are universal truths, of course, but we have an inherent need to find regularities in life, if only to ease the other, more complicated aspects of our existence. The vending machine, like most mechanical devices, will never stay the same—but it will remain consistent.
A vending machine’s repetitiousness, its consistency, may act as an aspect of the medium and thereby be used to its own consumer advantage—this allows the new flavor of soda (or anything, really) inside the Coke machine to seem desirable.
The vending machine, in its truest form, represents an overhaul of the psychology of consumerism—there is no human element to interfere with the advertisements or the medium. Marshall McLuhan used to ask his students, “Does a goldfish know it’s in water?” Erasing the element of human persuasion allows the subliminal a tighter chokehold on our inner desire to consume.