The World's Most Exclusive Membership

Website, web statistics, audio documentary, ballpoint pens and other advertising resources, 2011-2012

Above: poster advertisement

The World’s Most Exclusive Membership was a membership I designed which was so exclusive, it excluded everyone.

This is not directly apparent on the project website (dead link now, but used to be, people have to find out through the application process. After filling in the application form the website will send you a code to verify your email address, which you have to fill in on the website again. However, this code will always generate an error, and the website will ask you to apply again.

Lots of people applied multiple times, some tried even more than 40 times. In total more than 1200 people tried to become a member, despite not knowing what the membership was actually about. This process reveals one of the most important research questions of this project: what drives one to want to be a part of something?

All web statistics and applicant information has been sorted out and processed in graphs, showing the behaviour of the applicants. Also a small survey was held amongst 100 of the participants, asking them about their motivations to apply.

The project website has mainly been promoted through social media but also through selectively handing out ballpoint pens at various occasions. The pens were only handed out to people that seemed ‘good enough’ to join the highly exclusive club, to create a vibe of exclusivity and a feeling of envy among others.

Above: a selection of web statistics on display at the Moscow Biennale, 2013
Below: installation with subscription details, web statistics and ballpoint pens in a glass bell at the Moscow Biennale, 2013


Below: website statistics and data from all subscriptions