I see it so you don't have to
The success of the world's largest corporations rests on artificial intelligence (AI), often praised as "self-learning" and "super intelligent." However, the reality is different, as thousands of underpaid micro workers worldwide slave away to assembly data and moderate content that feeds the AI algorithms. Hidden behind screens and algorithmic processes, the humans behind the machine, endure poor work conditions, time pressure and automation processes created with the sole purpose of optimizing machine performance. Consequently, they suffer from stress, anxiety, and depression, their struggles masked by the guise of technological advancement.
The artist has worked closely with content moderators who shared their lived experiences of work-related mental health issues. The artwork sheds light on the invisible labour force propelling the wheels of tech capitalism, as an embodiment of their voices’ stories.
Entangling technologies of the part and the present, the work utilize machine learning to create a complex image that takes the form of a 2x3 meter wall hanging, woven on a traditional Jacquard loom. By intertwining the historical legacy of industrialized labour practices with the contemporary digital labour the piece brings to the forefront how the tech industry reproduces colonial exploitation of human labour as seen in the textile industry of the first industrial revolution.
Where historically one would make a tapestry for the powerful people in society for example a king or to celebrate a victory, “I see it, so you don’t have to” is a contemporary wall hanging that pays tribute to the unsung humans behind the machine.
The artwork was developed when the artist was international artist-in-residence at the Wellcome Collection as part of Wellcome Trust’s Mindscapes program.