Terms of Endearment

Digital Print, Future Sonic 2008, Cube Gallery, 113-115 Portland Street, Manchester, 01.05.08 — 17.05.08

David Merrit & Julian Priest

Terms of Endearment was commissioned by the Futuresonic 2008 festival and exhibited at CUBE Gallery in Manchester, UK.

Terms of Endearment highlights the value per user to online social-networking services like Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn. Excerpts of a collection of conditions and assignments, dating back to 1994, were selected ‘on aesthetic and poetic grounds’, framed and hung in the gallery. Sections containing the segments from the terms where a worldwide royalty free right for The Service to distribute media are highlighted. Each work is marked as sold, and priced with the market capitalisation of the service per user of The Service.

“It’s often said there’s no such thing as a free lunch but most people never read the terms and conditions of the enticingly free web 2.0 services they sign up for. Maybe they are put off by the dry literary style, the arcane terminology, or just the sheer time it takes to read the documents. Terms of Endearment takes a close look behind the veil at the vows we exchange with our corporate partners, to reveal what we sign away and what value is placed on our customer relationships. What price a click when we hit ‘I accept’?”

Valuations by Innonnate.com

Photography © Marcelo Godoy at Newtv.com


David Merritt
Drew Hemment
Marcelo Godoy