This second curated programme of short films, presented in conjunction with Ghosts of the Machine, traces the material imprint of digital technology on the physical world. These films transport us from undersea ecosystems under threat from human activity, to a hypothetical nonprofit trying to convert “likes” on social media into tangible assets, to a dreamlike vision of a future Congo, in which the rare earth metals mined there – rather than being exported en masse – enrich and transform their country of origin.
Engagement Rate Formula Adrián Melis | Spain | 2019 | 10min
In * ‘Engagement Rate Formula’, Melis sets up a nonprofit initiative that is dedicated to transforming likes, the thumb-up “reaction” symbols used on social media platforms, into “real” likes made of plaster. The initiative focuses specifically on likes expressed for posts depicting the struggles and inhumane treatment of refugees. The initiative reaches out to various NGOs and human rights organisations to help them distribute these material likes to people who are in need. A series of telephone conversations presents an absurd and highly problematic reality where the likes are considered possible aid for refugees in need. The work was inspired by the online phenomenon of slacktivism. The likes are eventually sent to the Moria refugee camp located on Lesbos, Greece.
* The engagement rate is used to measure the level of interaction by followers from content created by a user. It is calculated as total engagement divided by total followers, multiplied by 100.