Funeral for Digital Data

Webinterface and Crawler for Ginevra Petrozzis work “Funeral for Digital Data”

A three days long funeral ritual for digital data was activated, mediating personal losses and those of the audience. Inspired by ancient Greek laments, visitors are invited to share their digital loss on a computer (a loved one’s profile being erased from social media, an important picture or text erased, a lifetime of work lost). At the same time, a collection of testimonies taken from the internet is presented as an ongoing archive, creating a collective space for digital care. All together, these laments provide an environment in which other people’s grief could also be heard and experienced. The space showcases elements that reference both funeral ceremonies as well as the digital realm. Discarded devices adorned in a shroud create a space for mourning and witnessing.

Losing Data is only one facet of it; Facebook profiles becoming memorials, devices left to us from loved ones that passed away, accounts impossible to delete even after death. Mortality is not really taken into consideration, nor ceremonies, rituals or mediation figures to accompany these segments of digital life.

This web interface was put together to host people’s testimonies, memories or advices regarding grief and Data. At the same time, a web scraper looks into Quora - a widely popular forum - for people that have asked questions or answered others’ regarding the same topic. Looking for hope, ways to cope, or just to see if someone shared the same feelings.

Text by Ginecra Petrozzi