ScanOps is based on Google Books images in which software distortions, the scanning site, and the hands of ScanOps employees are visible.
This is a project of and about photography. Institutional discourse around photography remains encumbered by certain established strictures. These are intimately tied to a specific history of photography that is concerned with the camera’s status as a tool used to depict states of things in the world. This history could be said to revolve around confirming or problematizing Roland Barthes’s assertion that the medium’s essence is the ability of the photograph to testify: ‘That-has-been.’ This tends to repress, or at least discount, several integral aspects of the medium: the physical support upon which the image is registered, myriad technical processes, as well as the numerous choices that were made by the photographer in capturing the image.
The photographs are Google Books images in which software distortions, the imaging site, and the hands of ScanOps employees are visible. They’re both indexical, and medium-specific. Their processes, digital manipulations, and material supports are folded within them.
The hand - always the synechdoche for the worker - is occasionally inserted literally into our view of the text, presenting a persistent necessity for repetitive, manual labor. These accidents then complicate the categorizations of “immaterial” and “informational” labor in the Information Technology sector.
- Year Created: 2012
- Submitted to ArtBase: Tuesday May 1st, 2012
- Original Url: http://andrewnormanwilson.com/portfolios/101201-scanops
- Andrew Norman Wilson, primary creator
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ScanOps is (or was) the internal department name for Google’s onsite book scanning contractors. The ScanOps project is based on Google Books images in which software distortions, the scanning site, and the hands of ScanOps employees are visible. Through varied analog presentations of these images, the technologies and processes used are emphasized. These re-materializations are treated as photography— taking the form of framed image-sculptures, compiled in a mobile book-sculpture, and presented in a performance-lecture.
An extension of my Workers Leaving the Googleplex project - http://andrewnormanwilson.com/portfolios/70411-workers-leaving-the-googleplex