There’s something captivating about seeing Silicon Valley icons, and game changers of the western world’s adoption of social media, in the shape and form of derelict, Las Vegas-esque signs. Brands that normally rule our online worlds, and therefore sometimes our real worlds, are rarely presented as destitute and on their way out, painting a striking image of their mortality.
Self-taught digital artist Andrei Lacatusu has created 3D visualisations of the social media brands we all use everyday – Facebook, Google, Twitter, Pinterest, as well as Tinder – in the form of rusty, falling-apart and neglected neon signs – a stark contrast to the slick, shiny digital versions we see on our phones, and the slick, shiny versions of ourselves we upload to them.
I’m sure some of us wish the tech giants were as dead and insignificant to us as they appear in Andrei’s concepts, especially with the popular ‘I’m going to spend less time on social media’ new year’s resolution.
The series is titled ‘Social Decay’, and for the first time, it made me wonder how long these brands, that have become integrated into our daily routines over the last 10 years or less, will stay shiny and new. Seeing them against graffiti-stained corrugated iron walls and concrete slabs, we’re led to ponder that these too, are mere brands that likely won’t live forever.
It’s almost a relief to think the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram could possibly not dominate our digital footprints for all time, given the negative side effects they can cause to our mental wellbeing.
Romanian-based Andrei created the series using Photoshop, Autodesk’s 3d Max and V-Ray.