How much is your like worth?

Location
Chicago, US

Status
Awarded

Typology
Installation

Year
2019

In a world of likes, followers and retweets, popularity, acceptance and success are often measured quantitatively. The spectacle becomes a goal we chase after. The proposal challenges the very perception of social media likes; an art piece that visually awakens people to the cause and effect of the app-era.

An emerging trend is the market for likes which can be purchased online with various packages to suit different needs. For 1USD, people in Bangladesh, China and across Asia are paid to like 1,000 photos. In what can only be described as a sweatshop for the modern age, click farms exploit cheap labour to manufacture likes for paying customers around the world.

The design for the installation challenges the very perception of social media likes; an art piece that visually awakens people to the cause and effect of the app-era. Taking a cue from the way phones are displayed at click farms, the installation exploits the scale of the effect to create a ribbon of phones hung from the ceiling like a digital chandelier.

Together, they create a digital canvas with each individually tuned to the Instagram screen. The screen is refreshed at set intervals to create an animated canvas, with the rate of refresh programmed to create eye-catching animations. The aesthetics of the design derives from the statement with which it is trying to make; the pooling of resources, while the inside of the circle becomes a literal reveal of the story behind social media likes, with descriptions and photos of click farm conditions and impact.

wndr musem is described as a new experiential and immersive museum based in Chicago. With a self described mission to “provoke curiosity, challenge perception and ignite the sixth sense of wonder”, the museum stands at the forefront of what a museum could be in the 21st century.