For five years, the installation Get More—which lets people increment a number on a screen by visiting a website—has been installed in galleries and office buildings and homes, and has enjoyed periodic presence on social media. Throughout these installations, viewers of the work and visitors to its site have incremented the work’s count from 0 to nearly 300,000, probing the limits of our desire to see numbers go higher. So far, it hasn’t found many.
But while it may be surprising to hear that visitors felt compelled to increment Get More’s counter using hundreds of thousands of webpage reloads, the general act of adding is broadly familiar within contemporary society. We are constantly taught to walk more steps, to earn more money, or to gain more “likes.” So what about the inverse? In a world so saturated by obsessions with growth and imperatives to accumulate, perhaps nothing is more alien than a composed digital opportunity to make one number go down.
Get Less offers that opportunity. As a companion to Get More, it’s a visible metric that gets smaller by 1 with every visit to the URL getless.io. The number on the screen still means nothing in particular—the only difference is that this time reloads of the site subtract instead of add. Will visitors feel as compelled to decrement Get Less as they are to increment Get More? What does it feel like to help a number go down, to register one’s digital presence not through addition but through subtraction? Between Get More and Get Less, which most activates you?
- Software for Less (solo), arebyte Gallery, London, UK