'Liking' this art project makes it disappear

What's not to Like? A provocative creative exercise explores social media and virtual personae by making the "Like" button into a weapon of digital destruction.

Geoffrey Lillemon

Usually, "Liking" something gives it broader exposure -- and thus a better chance of propagating in the digital realm. A new online art project called "Like to Death" is the opposite. It disappears bit by bit as people "Like" it.

"Social media is the fifth dimension that fabricates our online existence," reads a screen that appears when visitors enter the flickering black and white site for Like to Death. "Imagine a life without it, if you can't you have been possessed. Break the curse, like it to death."

A collaboration for Adidas Originals by digital artist Geoffrey Lillemon and Stooki, an independent U.K. jewelry and apparel label that's also an art collective, Like to Death presents an ominous-looking seated robed figure of death wearing four heads like rings on its fingers. The artists describe these symbols as "demons," toying, they say, with the idea "that everyone possesses a social-media demon" -- be it an unhealthy addiction to social networks or the traces of ourselves we leave online that we might later wish we could make disappear.

Unlike those unflattering digital trails that promise to taunt us for perpetuity, Like to Death appears to be mortal. The more people Like the page, the more the rotating portrait of death gets engulfed in flames and particles. Refreshing the page shows Death disintegrating as the Liking increases. (As of this writing, more than 900 people had contributed to Death's demise.)

Much has been said about the supposed adverse affects of social media -- studies propose it can lead to depression , jealousy , and other less-than-likeable emotions. Like to Death, it could be inferred, suggests that social media, for all its benefits, might just be killing off parts of us.

Geoffrey Lillemon

(Via The Creators Project)

About the author

Leslie Katz, Crave's senior editor, heads up a team that covers the most crushworthy (and wackiest) tech, science, and culture around. As a co-host of the now-retired CNET News Daily Podcast, she was sometimes known to channel Terry Gross and still uses her trained "podcast voice" to bully the speech recognition software on automated customer service lines. E-mail Leslie.

 

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