Ben Grosser

RSM Assembly Fellow

Artist Ben Grosser creates interactive experiences, machines, and systems that examine the cultural, social, and political effects of software. Recent exhibition venues include Somerset House in London, Centre Pompidou in Paris, SXSW in Austin, Museum of Modern Art in Moscow, Museu das Comunicações in Lisbon, Museum Kesselhaus in Berlin, Science Gallery in Dublin, Japan Media Arts Festival in Tokyo, and the Digital Arts Festival in Athens. His works have been featured in The New Yorker, Wired, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, PBS, Fast Company, BBC, The Telegraph, Le Monde, Corriere della Sera, Der Spiegel, El País, and Folha. The Guardian (UK), writing about his recent film ORDER OF MAGNITUDE, said “there will be few more telling artworks [from] the first decades of this century … a mesmerising monologue, the story of our times.” Speaking about his social media-focused projects, RTÉ (Ireland) described Grosser as an “antipreneur.” Slate referred to his work as “creative civil disobedience in the digital age.” Grosser’s artworks are regularly cited in books investigating the cultural effects of technology, including The Age of Surveillance Capitalism, The Metainterface, and Investigative Aesthetics, as well as volumes centered on computational art practices such as Electronic Literature, The New Aesthetic and Art, and Digital Art. Grosser is an associate professor of new media in the School of Art + Design and co-founder of the Critical Technology Studies Lab at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, both at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA.


Twitter: @bengrosser  Github: @bengrosser


Assembly Fellowship Project:

Motivated by the insight that social media platforms are designed to keep users on an endless quest for more—more updates, more likes, more content—Ben Grosser’s Minus asks what users would do with less. Minus allotts users just 100 posts–for life, aiming to create an online space that mimics the finite time and resources we have in the physical world. Since launching in 2021, Minus has gained thousands of users and hosted tens of thousands of posts and comments.  Ben’s time as an RSM Assembly Fellow was devoted to in-depth analysis of Minus as a platform, which teased out how the affordances of constrained social media platforms encourage different sorts of interactions and conversations among users.


Associated Works