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21st century Sisyphus.
Earlier this month, we saw an engineer craft a machine that automatically swiped right on Tinder. The invention is a bit of a commentary on itself, but Australian artist Tully Arnot took the idea even further with his “Lonely Sculpture.”
This latest creation consists of an iPhone 4, Tinder, and a sad finger endlessly swiping right. The finger, powered by a servo motor and microcontroller, is programmed to always hit the “heart” button in the app. But no other finger ever comes up for the poor, lonely swiper—not even a thumb. Yet it presses onward, sometimes before the image even loads.
The commentary on social interaction and technology isn’t exactly subtle, but it’s funny nonetheless. And it reminds us that Tinder users are the modern day Sisyphus—swiping right to find a mate, getting no reply, then swiping again. Repeat for eternity.
If nothing else, the statue serves as a nice distraction from combing through dating profiles. If you feel your finger involuntarily dragging across the screen as you read, perhaps it’s time to walk away from your phone for awhile.
AJ Dellinger is a seasoned technology writer whose work has appeared in Digital Trends, International Business Times, and Newsweek. In 2018, he joined Gizmodo as the nights and weekend editor.