CAMBION: 'Sacred maze' exhibition on the occult and the mind: £550 goal; £0 raised.
Potato salad aside, Kickstarter projects have a success rate of about 40%, according to Kickstarter's site. Among the failed 60%, some come close to their goal, but some sad ones fail to get even a single donor.
These $0 are the ones that Italian artist Silvio Lorusso is interested in. That's why he created Kickended, a museum of failed Kickstarters that couldn't raise a single cent. Since it's actually rather difficult to search Kickstarter for failed projects, Lorusso uses Kickspy, a site designed to help people find projects to fund. Lorusso automatically scrapes projects with $0 from Kickspy and feeds them into his site. So far, he has over 8,000 $0 projects archived. Unlike other collections of bad Kickstarters, Kickended's interface looks the same as the real Kickstarter. It's a weird, sad mirror image.
As Lorusso describes it on the site, these failed projects are "free from the pressure of money raising, these retain the purity of abstract ideas."
As an artist, Lorusso says he has special sympathy for the people who put their creative aspirations up on Kickstarter. "I wouldn't say that they are 'failing': many of these people develop their artworks anyway and Kickstarter represents for them only one of the possible showcases," he told BuzzFeed News in an email. "I stumbled upon several projects/campaigns that are interesting, compelling, smart or even touching."
Seeing so many projects with merit fail so spectacularly has made Lorusso skeptical of crowdfunding. "Much of the 'success' in the Kickstarter's ecosystem seems to depend on factors that go beyond the project's idea: influencers' support, marketing skills, convincing texts," he said.
"Crowdfunding is generally framed [within a] Silicon Valley, start-up narrative characterized by the myth of a general and complete democratization of the means of physical and intellectual production — to put it in Evgeny Morozov's words. Succeeding in crowdfunding might not be that easy."
Here are some of the best failed Kickstarters:
"A Digital Photography Book about Internet Cafes from around the World, the patrons that use them, and workers that staff them."
Hand painted custom European mount: $6,000 goal
"I have combined my two passions; Hunting, and painting."
BizzFitt: $35,000 goal
Halloween Neighborhood Terror: $400 goal
Broken Record (film): $37,000 goal
Katie Notopoulos is a senior editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Notopoulos writes about tech and internet culture is cohost of the Internet Explorer podcast.
Contact Katie Notopoulos at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.