Jonah Brucker-Cohen

iOs App development by Andrew Dempsey



ContactRot is an art project and live address book application intended to emphasize our increasing reliance on cloud storage for things like phone numbers, friends, etc… So much so that without this memory failsafe that we begin to forget things. Ultimately these forms of storage act as an artifical memory for our brains, replacing what we used to keep there. When these items begin to disappear, we ultimately lose touch with people to the point of being forced to contact them in other ways (e.g., real life) to get the data back.



ContactRot is an alternative address book app for iOS that ranks how much attention you are giving those in your contact list. Every name added to the address book comes with a pre-specified timer. Each contact’s retention in the address book is based on how often you make contact with the person, such as call them or email them. If someone is getting less attention than another person, i.e. if you fail to contact them enough, that person’s details slowly decay (their icon begins to fade, their name and contact details begin to deteriorate) and they are removed from the address book, and ultimately your device. Users can choose between two modes of memory retention: “Hard” meaning names and numbers disappear sooner or “Easy” where they have a longer period of time before names and numbers start decaying.

The result is a live address book that only retains contacts if they stay relevant to your life by your initiating contact with them.

ContractRot examines how digital devices are replacing our ability to retain memories such as individuals phone numbers with our increased reliance on cloud storage.


Features of the App

1. ContactRot is a native iOS app that uses a copy your actual iPhone contact list.*

2. Each contact’s name begins to deteriorate away after a month of use to eventual deletion, based on how often they are contacted or they contact you.

3. After a month of use, each contact’s icons on left side of screen begins to fade away in conjunction with the names and numbers.

4. The App contains a “Hard Mode” where it will only show people contacvted with in the past two weeks, and an “Easy Mode” where it will show people contact with in the past 6 months.

*  None of your original data will be affected by the App