“Like 4 Real”: DADARA Speaks at TEDx Amsterdam

"Like 4 Real" at Burning Man 2013 (photo by Yomi Ayeni)
“Like 4 Real” at Burning Man 2013 (photo by Yomi Ayeni)

Did you see the “Like 4 Real” art piece at Burning Man 2013? Did you hate it? Did you discount it as a publicity (or some such) stunt by Facebook, or a group of overly-enthusiastic Burners from Silicon Valley? You’re not alone. Turns out that was a common misconception.

DADARA (aka Daniel Rozenberg), the Amsterdam-based artist who has created over a half-dozen thought-provoking art pieces for Burning Man over the years, recently spoke in front of 1,200 people at the Royal Concert Hall for TEDx Amsterdam about Like 4 Real, his most recent offering.

It’s a wonderful talk (not to mention an interactive and participatory experience) about the principle of Immediacy, wherein DADARA provides insight into this provocative piece, including the socio-technical conditions that inspired it, the Likefesto, and the experience of displaying the sculpture at Burning Man.

Enjoy … and we encourage you to participate in the Like meditation at the end. Of course, if you’re so inclined, you’re welcome to “like” the Like 4 Real Facebook page. For real.

About the author: Will Chase

Will Chase

Will Chase is Burning Man's former Minister of Propaganda, working on global communications strategy. He was the editor-in-chief for the Jackrabbit Speaks newsletter and the Burning Man Journal, and content manager for Burning Man’s web properties. He also oversaw the ePlaya BBS and Burning Man’s social media presence. Will first attended Burning Man in 2001. He volunteered as the Operations Manager for the ARTery (Black Rock City’s art HQ) and was on the Burning Man Art Council from 2003-2008. He was Web Team Project Manager and Webmaster from 2004 until he transitioned to the Communications Department in 2009.

10 Comments on ““Like 4 Real”: DADARA Speaks at TEDx Amsterdam

  • Zhust says:

    Meh. I’m still not impressed.

    While I admit to not aggressively searching, I have not noticed much exploration to the process of liking something. Off the cuff, it seems like a superficial experience, but in seeming so, it quickly becomes clear that it is rooted purely in belief and not in rationalization. In that way it is deeper and more substantial than it seems.

    But tying it to the “thumbs up” icon focuses away from that depth and toward the superficial act of communicating the tiniest and least substantial part of liking. It works with the commodification of liking as exploited by social media.

    And the symbolism of the artwork — a fixed “thumbs up” — makes for weak art.

    Now, somebody explain what I missed so I can friggin’ like anything about this project.

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  • JoJo Saunders says:


    You are no different than a thousand others before you who thought they had a great idea, tried it a the Man but failed.
    After watching your Ted Talk and you commenting on having the most amazing moment of your life standing there alone watching you art burn, to me, that is the magic of Burning Man. It’s a very amazing experience, but it means something different to everyone. We didn’t need your attempt at enlightening all of us, but you got what you needed, some alone time.
    But then watching you recreate your burn here on Ted Talks with a captive audience this time for some self gratification on your failed project, I don’t think your alone time changed much.
    Good luck on your journey.

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  • Elij says:

    Without watching the video (so I can give my own unbiased opinion). I chucked when I saw it. It said to me, “Get off the grid. Burn the Facebook Like “. I felt that was appropriate for Burning Man. I thought that was the message.
    I didn’t see it as promoting Facebook. I mean really? Not even Zuckerberg has to promote Facebook? So I laughed at the tongue-in-cheek message “Like it then burn it” and totally enjoyed another great Burning Man; grateful for all the artists.

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  • Dadara says:

    I wrote a long personal story about the experience, my thoughts, the philosophy, and the controversy, and (of course) posted it on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/notes/dadara/like-dislike-and-fifty-shades-of-like-in-between/587319474642873

    For the rest I like the fact that opinions vary widely and wildly. For me that is Art. It’s all in the Like of the Beholder……..

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  • Dr. baron von Realz Esq. says:

    The artiest seem to either have the best of intentions or is pulling some kind of prank I am not sure which. His art is a registered trade mark of facebook! which means the artiest must have gotten permission from facebook to use it https://www.facebookbrand.com/guidelines?asset=5&media=3 . This is a corporate advertiser’s wet dream come true. People are asked to cover all corporate logos i.e. cover the logos on budget rental trucks ect. Yet we allowed a huge registered trade mark in the middle of the playa? I am sorry I strongly disagree with the decision to allow this on the playa. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

    In order to preserve the spirit of gifting, our community seeks to create social environments that are unmediated by commercial sponsorships, transactions, or ADVERTISING. We stand ready to protect our culture from such exploitation. We resist the substitution of consumption for participatory experience.

    He is asking people to worship a corporate logo in order to connect with the here and now funny. Connecting to the here and now by using phones funny. Going back to a time before facebook existed by placing a facebook logo in front of everyone funny. Spoofing the burning man powers that be into allowing a corporate logo on the playa priceless yes I said it you guys dropped the ball. I am actually considering making my own reactionary art work a huge hand with the middle finger instead of the thumb up. That said all the other art on the playa was outstanding!


    Dr. baron von Realz Esq.

    “compliancy is safe, change is not”
    – Dr.Baron von Realz Esq.

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  • playamoth says:

    To me it’s a joke so I laugh.

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  • randy says:

    Didn’t like it before it was explained.
    Don’t like it after it’s been explained.

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  • cult says:

    WOW!!! look how *burnier than thou* everyone is. What happened to inclusion? This art project rocked because it took an icon that people love, hated and made everyone react. Job well done artist!!! THANK YOU FOR CREATING SOMETHING THAT CAUSED SO MUCH THOUGHT. thank you for the quality write ups. I missed this year because of the murderous empire we live in and its corrupt/oppresive/ preditorial system. Cant wait to be back 2014

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  • Wow, great article.Really thank you! Want more.

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