Digital Worker: Witnesses of a transformation

Harun Farocki_re-pouring, 2010, 1 channel video, colour, sound, 21 min

Harun Farocki, 're-pouring', 2010 © Galerie Barbara Weiss


In the last couple of years developments in field of robotics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning are rapidly increasing. “Smartness” and “intelligence” manifested through machinic judgments, driving and sensing emotion will strongly impact not just the field of architecture but also everyday life. The promise published through scores, various predictions, and lists of dying professions and jobs is that the new automation aims to impact the work activities for a large amount of people, in a very short time.

The course 'Digital Worker: Witnesses of a transformation’ investigates this labor reconfiguration: material and immaterial, low paid and high paid, low skilled and high skilled, long in tradition and new, all that aim to be, or are currently in the process of being, replaced by the ‘intelligent’ machines. The new revolution follows the old question: if robots are taking over jobs, what and how are humans to do? Which kind of social relations are a futuristic imagination of the contemporary technological tendencies? Is the fear of precarization and growing inequality as a consequence of the contemporary transformation just irrational? How will architecture emerge through this transformation?

Understanding that technology is at its base a human and social process, the anticipated artistic intervention and a sound installation as a result of observation, interviews, readings and audio recordings aims to be both, evidence of this transformation as well as a contribution to the understanding of how “the digital turn” has been shaping local labor relations involving the main protagonists in Graz.