At first, the app looks a little like the original Facebook feed, or perhaps a stripped-down version of Twitter. But start typing, and it becomes clear something is very different about Minus, a social media platform and work by Ben Grosser, an Illinois-based artist whose piece is featured in a new metaLAB exhibition at Harvard Art Museums.
The odd thing about Minus is that every time you submit a post — whether it is a response to someone else, or a new thread — a countdown informs you of how many posts you have left. Because once you hit the lifetime limit of 100 posts on Minus, you’re done. No exceptions.
How does this influence what you say, and to whom you say it? How does it change how you interpret others’ comments, knowing they are bound by the same restriction? And what exactly does being part of a social network like this mean?