Benjamin Grosser: Facebook Demetricator




 
  • ©2012, Benjamin Grosser, Facebook Demetricator
  • ©2012, Benjamin Grosser, Facebook Demetricator

Artist(s):


Title:


Facebook Demetricator

Exhibition:


SIGGRAPH 2016: Data Materialities

Creation Year:


2012

Category:


Art Site

Artist Statement:


Networks—especially social networks and news aggregators on the internet, such as Facebook, Vine, Twitter, YouTube, DIGG, and others—rely on numbers to rank and catalog content and status. People interacting online are now using these numbers as a form of “social currency” to rate each other based on how many friends they have, how many “likes” they earn on their Facebook and Instagram posts, and how many votes of approval they need to sell more products on sites like eBay, Amazon, and Etsy. Illinois-based artist Benjamin Grosser takes these numbers and metrics as a critical starting point: recognizing the self-perpetuating system of numericizing online activity (friends, “likes,” comments, votes, etc.), he decided to create an antidote.

Facebook Demetricator deletes the virtual approval rankings from the interfaces that we interact with every day. Grosser states that his goal was to move the emphasis away from “how many friends you have or … how much they like your status,” and redirect it toward “who [you] are and what [you] said” [8]. Instead of focusing on the metrics, we can relax and engage with the reason we go online in the first place: to connect with others. As a result, using the Facebook Demetricator reminds us how much of our online activity is tracked, measured, numbered, and categorized into rankings and schematics. Ultimately, these analytics are used to elevate and perpetuate these companies’ bottom lines.