Exhibited at Plateforme gallery, Paris
www.send-me-a-task.com is an online service directing artists Dasha Ilina and Amanda Lewis to fulfill algorithmic tasks emulating the demanding workflow that workers subjected to gig economy standards experience every day. During the performance, the visitors are invited to send a task for the artists to perform during the entirety of the exhibition. The artists will perform the task as soon as they see the changes on the screen. The show is also recorded and streamed on youtube, so that users can send tasks from a distance. The tasks are simple and stereotypical to the activities usually performed at gallery openings, and range from Have a sip of your drink to Debate art politics or Confront each other about what happened last night.
The reason for the performance came from research on the workflow of the gig economy, specifically mechanical turk. While reading interviews with turkers that attempted to work on the mechanical turk as their primary (and often only) source of income, the artists found out that many turkers were so attached to their computers, so as to not miss a HIT (Human Intelligence Task), they would not leave their screens at all (even wake up in the middle of the night to complete the tasks). Therefore the performance is an emulation of the lifestyle of gig economy workers.
In collaboration with Amanda Lewis.
Nothing to Hide
Nothing to Hide highlights the three most notable aspects of surveillance. In order to do that, three devices were created to show all of the obvious ways with which we're being tracked. These devices have been particularly exaggerated to show how obvious it has become that we are being tracked throughout the day. In the video, the first subject is having their conversations recorded. The second subject is under video surveillance and the last subject has their geolocation tracked. These specific device augmentations were chosen as obvious representations of the information that is constantly being stored on us. Using a microphone allows one to have full high quality audio recordings like the ones you can access through your google account search history, if you allow it to access your microphone. The usage of a web camera provides us with photos similar to the ones you could have from a computer's webcam, because the video surveillance is not limited to one device. Attaching a marker to a smartphone to represent geolocation surveillance gave us the least accurate information, mocking their surveillance methods. The title "Nothing to Hide" is a reference to a phrase repeated by many pro-surveillance activists. They claim that one shouldn't be against surveillance if they have nothing to hide from the government.
In collaboration with Amanda Lewis.
Are you watching?
Exhibited at Centre Pompidou, Paris
SPAMM_POWER at ReFrag festival and online
‘Are you watching?’ is a video and performance in collaboration with Tatiana Astakhova. Using a play on found footage methodologies by exploiting existing video streams, the work draws to attention not only to the ubiquity of video surveillance, but questions for whom and for what purpose these continuous feeds are intended - collecting the visuals using freely accessible cameras from Paris whilst the performance itself took place on a number of public squares in Moscow. The placards held up by Astakhova ask a simple question - is anyone actually watching? And subsequently, do they need to? Potentially, the need to actively surveil has been surpassed by the knowledge that as our image and person now outreaches our grasp, infinitely extendable online, the degree to which anyone anywhere has access to the details of our lives grows more evident. Whether actively watched or not, the constant potential for an outside gaze leaves an eerie awareness that we have become unavoidably surveilled.
Text by Niklas Ayris
watch the video on vimeo