I died on Facebook is an artwork that explores the notion of our virtual selves in an increasingly digital world.

Through the gamification of death, the work prompts us to contemplate the impact of our immaterial selves on our physical lives. As we increasingly shift our activities and interactions online, we must consider the fate of our digital counterparts when we die. Do they exist indefinitely, or do they perish too?

The work consists of a VR (Virtual Reality) game experience set in a cemetery, where digital tombstones are named after real deceased people, whose Facebook profiles have been memorialised by their loved ones. The project was realised by means of a Python coded Facebook scraper, which collects the names of the memorialised profiles on the Social Media, and a Javascript code, that interacts with the gaming platform Minecraft building the graves and the cemetery environment.

The interactivity of the installation allows visitors to interact differently depending on whether they experience it on the Internet or on-site, enabling a multi-layered engagement with the work. On site, the visitor can engage as a player, and actively interact with the virtual environment, or as an observer, seeing other participants enjoy the experience. Online, the interaction appropriates the multiplayer dynamic, typical of the game universe, to transport the work to an open, community-based, and collaborative environment, making it accessible via server hosting. In the current context of discussions about the metaverse and the potential of immersive digital environments, I died on Facebook is more relevant than ever.

Through the gamification of death, the artwork raises critical questions about the 3 of 6 implications of our digitised habitat, the impact of our immaterial selves on our physical lives and the potential consequences of prioritising our online personalities.

The artists

Martina Pizzigoni (Bergamo, *1998) is a multimedia artist.

They obtained a BA in New Media Art Technologies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice. In 2021, they graduated with an MA in Cultural Project Managment at the Università Cattolica and Politecnico di Milano, and they are currently attending the MA Interface Culture programme at the Kunstuniversität Linz, (AT).

Their artistic practice focuses on the creation of interactive experiences, while the main interest of their research is the context in which we live, with the social and anthropological implications that characterise our digitally dominated society.

Alessia Fallica (Lecce, *1998) is a new media artist.

After a BA in New Media Art Technologies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice and a Master in Cultural Project Management, they are currently attending the Interface Cultures MA at the Kunstuniversität in Linz (AT). Since September 2021, they collaborate with the Milan-based multimedia art studio, Tokonoma. Being willing to experiment but with a fondness for videoart, installation and interactivity, their research focuses on socio-anthropological aspects of human nature, with a profound interest of violence and violation both as physical and psychological phenomena.

Discover the works in the Art & VR Gallery