Like any other new technology to become massively popular, social media is being used in ways that its creators probably never intended. Sure, you can still use Facebook to stay in touch with your great aunt and that friend from high school who never left your town. You can use Snapchat to send innocent selfies with the dog ears filter to your significant other. But influencers have turned social media use into big business, and even regular people have developed an insatiable appetite for likes. That’s the idea that Quick Fix is exploring by turning buying followers or likes into an errand as easy as going to a vending machine.
Quick Fix is, as you probably gathered from this post’s title, an interactive art installation. All you have to do is choose if you want to buy likes or followers and how many you want. Then just type in your social media user name and insert some money, and you’ll receive instant gratification. Purchasing likes or followers on social media is hardly a new concept; but, just like the name says, this art installation really drives home the point that you’re only buying a quick fix. If this was an art or lifestyle blog, we could wax poetic about existentialism and the human need for validation — even when we’re aware that that validation is just a facade.
But this is a tech blog, and it’s the electronics that we’re interested in. Quick Fix was commissioned by Helsinki’s Pixelache and built by Dries Depoorter in Ghent, Belgium. Inside the intentionally camp enclosure is a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+, an Arduino, a coin op mechanism, as well as the LCD displays and buttons for the user interface. The software for the Quick Fix was programmed in Python 3 with a Firebase Cloud Firestone database. Depoorter doesn’t say where it came from, but there is also a pretty nifty looking metal keyboard that users can type their social media user names in with. Quick Fix was obviously built to make a statement, but we could definitely see people using it in the real world without a hint of irony.