Laborers of Love (LOL) (2012)

“Laborers of Love/LOL” is a crowdsourcing project that explores how sexuality and desire are mediated through new technologies, specifically new models of global, outsourced labor. The project takes the form of an Internet service that uses anonymous online workers to create “customers” video fantasies. Utilizing Mechanical Turk, an online job engine created by Amazon.com (mturk.com), LOL leverages a global online workforce of workers that are not specific to the sex industry but rather a diverse group of home/computer based workers. In an assembly-line fashion, Mechanical Turk workers collect images and video related to the fantasy from a variety of websites. A real time data visualization is then presented on the website consisting of worker locations (Waco, Texas; Bangalore, India; etc) and IP addresses of the mined content (images and video). This visualization maps the process and “production” of the video fantasy. The final product is a short video mashup, more funny than sexy, where 1970’s experimental cinema meets canned Photoshop filters, and ultimately reflects on how desire and pleasure are represented, fragmented and abstracted through the consumption of online digital media.

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