DELETHE was founded in 2012 as a project of the artist Nik Nowak, the lawyer Philipp Brandt and the curator Peter Lang (✝).

DELETHE occupies itself with the question of the handling and deletion of data after death. DELETHE is simultaneously a forum, a self-experiment and a service, which attempts to compare the current legal and practical feasibilities of the deletion of personal data after death. The moment of death thereby poignantly confronts concrete reality with virtual reality. When we die and physically depart from the world, our profiles on social networks, our avatars and online accounts continue to exist. This raises a great many personal and legal questions, for example: who is responsible for my digital estate? Who does my data belong to when I die? Do I want my data to be used further after my death, and who could benefit from it? What happens to my virtual identity when I no longer have control over it? What risks of misuse exist in dealing with "ghost avatars" and abandoned online accounts?

DELETHE attempts to comprehend the international legal situation and to determine the extent to which legal claims for the deletion of data are practicable. As a result of new EU laws, there exists a testamentary legal claim concerning the handling of remaining data. In cooperation with the legal attorneys, represented by Philipp Brandt, DELETHE offers a real and legally binding service for the deletion of data following death. This service precisely addresses legal gray zones and attempts to help cultivate an unresolved space on the Internet through the assertion of claims.

DELETHE collects information and comprehends itself as a forum. The DELETHE service - which is available at the gallery - is both a real offering and a cross-check of the legal situation, as well as a catalyst for discourse.