Minus and Finite Social Networks Named #4 Tech Trend to Watch

On the list of didn’t expect this, my social network Minus—and its descriptive tagline “finite social network”—was named technology trend #4 of 10 “to watch” by global marketing agency Wunderman Thompson in its annual and highly read trends report.

Read the full report, titled The Future 100: Trends and Change to Watch in 2022.

Reviews and Other Press about Software for Less at arebyte Gallery London

Review of Software for Less in Hyperallergic

My solo exhibition Software for Less at arebyte Gallery, London received a significant amount of press. Here are links to a selection of it. Many are reviews of the show as a whole. Some are discussions about a specific work, such as Minus.

ORDER OF MAGNITUDE at NeMe Arts Center Cyprus

ORDER OF MAGNITUDE at NeMe Arts Center, Cyprus

My work ORDER OF MAGNITUDE will be part of Through the Mesh at NeMe Arts Center in Limassol, Cyprus. Curated by Patrick Lichty, this exhibition “features the work of artists who initially began to investigate the cultural space of the networks, biopolitical and informatic; who challenge or jam it. The artworks look at electronic networks as scopophilic and performative, the asymmetric regimes of power they project, and the positive uses of “darkside” technologies. These areas of investigation open the media archaeologies of the panoptic network, its modalities, and the spaces of criticism, humour and progressivism. From the era of the Cold War in which the “net” was created to assure communication, Through the Mesh: Media, Borders, and Firewalls seeks to consider the conditions of the contemporary landscape and suggest progressive strategies for the future.”

As part of the exhibition, I spoke with artist/curator Patrick Lichty about Facebook/Meta as unchecked corporate power, FB’s Metaverse as the next wave in workplace hypersurveillance, shifting political ideologies in Silicon Valley, TikTok’s negative effects on sleep, and of course, more.

Through the Mesh opens 9 Dec 2021 and closes 20 Jan 2022.

Interview about Minus with TV Cultura Brazil

I spoke about my social platform Minus with Renata Simões of TV Cultura (Brazil Public Television). The player should queue up at the start of our chat, but just in case it doesn’t, it’s 3 minutes in.

Not For You in Wired

Wired Magazine, November 2021

I recently spoke with Louise Matsakis at Wired Magazine about some recent changes at TikTok, looking at how the app is getting increasingly pushy about building out your friend network and submitting your contact info. My TikTok work Not For You also gets a mention.

Interview with Franceinfo about Minus

Franceinfo (French Public Radio)

I did an interview with Marion Lagardere at Franceinfo (French Public Radio) about my work Minus. Listen to the segment.

Social Media Works Featured at Fast Company

Minus in Fast Company

Several of my social media-related works, including Minus, Facebook Demetricator, Go Rando, and ORDER OF MAGNITUDE were the subject of a feature article at Fast Company:

… Grosser focuses on the cultural effects of social media, particularly the way it preys on users’ insecurities, taps into our desire for instant gratification, and is designed to be addictive. Over the past few weeks, his work has become increasingly relevant, as leaked internal documents and the recent testimony from whistleblower Frances Haugen reveal exactly how much Facebook knows about the damage its platform does.

… Facebook says it is exploring ways to reduce its negative effects on people’s well-being, through features like giving users the option to remove “likes” from posts. This is something Grosser began exploring a decade ago.

… Ultimately, the Minus platform is geared toward spurring conversation, since users could respond to posts freely. “The only way to gauge the success of your post was if there was a conversation in response to it,” Grosser says. “That’s how human interaction worked until social media. We didn’t go to parties and walk away with lists of numbers about how we were being seen. We had to listen to someone, think about what they had said, and respond if we felt compelled to.”

… Minus is a fascinating exploration into how social media might work if constant engagement were not at the center of the experience.

Read the article, which was written by Elizabeth Segran.

Safebook Part of Algorithmic Bias in Brussels

Algorithmic Bias at [Senne] in Brussels

My work Safebook will be part of Algorithmic Bias at [Senne] in Brussels. Curated by Bob Bicknell-Knight, Algorithmic Bias “is an exhibition concerned with the systems and structures embedded within the internet of things, many of which were and continue to be created with an in-built bias. Algorithms have become a common tool used in the framework of social media platforms, created by unknown coders, reinforcing social biases of race, gender, sexuality, and ethnicity. The works in the exhibition explore and critique the procedurally generated invisible rules that control our online and offline lives.”

Artists include Zach Blas, Joy Buolamwini, Bob Bicknell-Knight, Jacob Ciocci, Ami Clarke, Heather Dewey-Hagborg, Stephanie Dinkins, Ben Grosser, Joel Holmberg, Esther Hovers, Claire Jervert, JODI and Lynn Hershman Leeson.

30 September 2021 to 10 October 2021

Interview with Karine Galland about Minus

I had a great conversation with Karine Galland about my social network Minus. Karine is an early user of the platform and a digital well being coach in Paris. She also wrote an article about her experience of Minus.

Interview with RTÉ (Ireland Public Radio)

I spoke with Luke Clancy of RTÉ (Ireland Public Radio) about making computer music in the 20th century, (resisting) Silicon Valley, my new social network Minus, NFTs and Tokenize This, and other topics that intersect with my arebyte show. The segment also features some of my own computer music and trumpet playing.

The interview aired over 3 nights (Part I, II, III), but the easiest way to listen is on this weekly edition that compiles them all into one:

Soundsdoable / Culture File · The Culture File Weekly Sept 18th: Ben Grosser + Fehdah