Layered Light Trace

drawing in four panels

Excerpt from essay Deliberate Images, Intended Metaphors in Platform Politics: Within, Above and Under

…While attempting to understand the design of MTurk and its logic of cloud computation, I used the platform to set a high-paying HIT (human intelligent tasks/jobs) to ask people for four images of their workspace: one image looking inwards from each of the four corners of their room. One set of images from a turker caught my attention.

The four images I received were of a person with his back to the camera in the four corners of a pink-walled room. He too is dressed in pink. These are very accurate images of digitality. The turker remains hidden…the images are steeped in layer upon layer of abstraction, sourced through the cloud and embedded in a global chain of production.

To be willing to read in between the shapes, to see the formation of the human body once again and be reminded of it as a part of the process of automation, where the fight is to identify oneself as a visible node is a violent process. There is something intimate about these images, yet impersonal. The images contain the violence of forced hidden-ness, but also the power to willingly remain unidentifiable. This is why these images are so potent – they urge the viewer to contend with the creativity of the hidden hand, all the while signalling towards the harsh apparatus that enables it….

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