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aggregates, 2017.

An interactive installation made for the Reed College undergraduate thesis project, May 2017. For those interested, the accompanying research paper to this work can be found here.

This installation deals mostly with notions of digital labor and networked surveillance. Technologists responsible for the neoliberalization of the Internet have done something clever in the last two decades: they've turned the moment of consumption (i.e. consumption of media through digital interface) into a moment that is simultaneously productive for them (largely through data-driven surveillance), such that the very notion of value-creation is inverted and labor is done voluntarily.

On the leftmost screen, a video of online laborers (from Amazon's Mechanical Turk) speaking of their working conditions plays on loop. While people watch this video, their photograph is taken and analyzed for perceived age, gender, and emotion, using Microsoft computer vision algorithms. The result of this analysis is shown on the second screen, where viewers can see how these algorithms perceived and extracted information from them. On the rightmost screen is a running aggregate of every face to have entered the installation. In the center is the laptop running the installation in display case, periodically printing out what the installation is doing. A text about the work lays on a pedestal nearby.

Here you can find documentation images, as well as two videos at the bottom: the video loop played in the installation, and a timelapse video of the opening reception.

The code base used to run this installation can be found on my github page, here.


















The final Aggregate of all who saw the installation: