Art from Outside the Googleplex: An Interview with Andrew Norman Wilson

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The Inland Printer – 164, 2012

Through webinars, installations, power points, performances, audio meditations and videos, Andrew Norman Wilson's interventions into the brands and infrastructures of Silicon Valley and other worldwide tech corporations question the roles of labor, power and capital; instigations, integral to understanding the movement of information economies in the global marketplace as well as the power relations that emerge from within them.  

ScanOps, titled after the internal department for Google's onsite book scanning contractors, is Wilson's latest series of works that reveal the software distortions and hands of ScanOps employees found in the photographic scanning site.

During June, ScanOps will be on view at both American Medium in New York City and Document in Chicago. A ScanOps subscription service and book will be published by Art Metropole later this year.

 


 

LD: Workers Leaving the Googleplex, responded to two versions of the film Workers Leaving the Factory: one by Harun Farocki and the other, the original by the Lumière brothers. The premise of your own video of course was to make a work that captured the shift in labor from the industrial proletariat into the informational proletariat. The yellow badge workers were presented in parallel to Lumières' workers and have become the focal point of another series of works, ScanOps.  Could you first talk about the meta-hierarchies that existed at Google, specifically the perks, benefits, opportunities or lack thereof that existed between various color badges?

ANW: Using Workers Leaving the Googleplex as an illustration of these hierarchies, white, red, and green badge workers on the left side of the image are seen passing by, entering, and exiting a variety of buildings at the Googleplex. Some of them ride the Google loaner bikes, some of them enter a luxury limo shuttle headed towards San Francisco. Some of ...

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