Digital artist Andrei Lacatusu has created Social Decay, a series of images depicting a possible future of washed-up digital companies and their derelict signs. They are ‘faux’, although in a different sense to those that I’ve documented in the past. An article on Digital Arts contrasts them “to the slick, shiny digital versions we see on our phones, and the slick, shiny versions of ourselves we upload to them”.
However difficult it might be to imagine a future without these companies, there have been many others that have come and gone in the relatively recent history of the internet, and even more recent history of smart phones and apps. These images capture that potential vulnerability, and the ultimate mortality that we/they all face.
In terms of their actual execution, Andrei has been drawn principally towards old neon and illuminated signs, rather than painted forms. There are echoes of Ghostletters Vienna (especially the second ‘g’ in Google) and the Neon Museum in Las Vegas, alongside the exhibits at the Buchstabenmuseum in Berlin and Neon Muzeum in Warsaw. The level of detail that he has created is exquisite, including missing strips of neon, rust, broken/falling letters, and accompanying graffiti reinforcing the atmospheric nature of the images.
They are a wonderful series, all created digitally, but perhaps one day we’ll see how the real things manifest themselves…