Suicide Kit is a series of interlinked web pages created by pseudonymous artist Mouchette. Suicide Kit is one of many interactive pieces that are part of the artist’s website http://www.mouchette.org/ . The artwork is a created forum for mouchette.org users to write in suggestions, as per the artist’s request, for “what is the best way to kill yourself when you’re under 13?”.
Suicide Kit most notably deals with the subject of death and suicide. It has evolved into a forum of users to discuss their own personal experiences with such topics. Suicide Kit relates to the [wiki.ubc.ca/Mouchette Mouchette's] character inspiration.
One conversation that Suicide Kit creates is the legitimacy of content as art, "what constitutes as artwork?" . The entire mouchette.org site itself can be seen as a collective artwork, but Mouchette also makes distinction between webpages of the site. Suicide Kit is a collection of webpages that lead to a forum of user comments. This brings the question of whether a single webpage can be considered art, or even a collection of pages in itself. The location of the art in Suicide Kit is questioned as well, for it is a creation of the artist Mouchette, but it is the contributions of users that create the majority of the piece's content. The relationship and distinction between artist and audience are questioned. .
Exhibition Techniques/Technical Execution
Suicide Kit is exhibited across three main webpages on www.mouchette.org. The piece is highly interactive, as it leads the user through several pages and relies on user contribution for it's content. The starting webpage for the piece displays a graphic image of Mouchette's avatar in a courtroom, with bold text "Help Me!" above. The links on this page direct the user to a page with an empty textbox that invites users to submit a comment. The third main page of the piece is an archive of all user-submitted comments. The archive is organized chronologically, as well as into subcategories of submission type: Seeking Help, Offering Help, Real Life Experience, Children's Game, Cruel Jokes, Blame Me, and Mouchette's Favorites. Suicide Kit has also been exhibited in the non-virtual world in Galerie Tanya Rumpff, Haarlem, Nl, in December of 1997.
Suicide Kit has been received differently by many audiences. Mouchette.org continues to attract thousands of visitors and contributors from around the world, adding to the long list of comment contributions on Suicide Kit. Originating as a collection of answers to one question, it has evolved by user participation into a diverse forum. Contributors organize the space into their own discussion of ideas, reactions, and personal experiences . Essentially, Suicide Kit has allowed users to "hack the original form of the page to serve their own needs as a united community".
Suicide Kit also receives a lot of criticism from other users. Because of it's sensitive subject matter (its discussion of a young girl's suicide), many users see Suicide Kit as offensive. Users against Suicide Kit are able to express their disapproval through the comment section of the piece. There is a subcategory of comments expressing negativity towards Mouchette and Suicide Kit featured on the web page.