Gig Faces, Gig Spaces

T Connecting Pablo Garcia

Gig Faces, Gig Spaces is an installation of people at work. They are not “at work” in the traditional sense. They are at home, performing “Human Intelligence Tasks” (HITs) on the crowdsourcing labor site Amazon Mechanical Turk. “MTurk" connects laborers around the world with requesters looking for data entry, image tagging, filling out surveys, and other menial tasks simple enough for humans, but challenging for computers to do accurately. (This includes the English-Korean translation of this text you are reading). For USD1.00, I asked workers to video themselves completing mTurk tasks. The length of the video equals the amount of time it takes to perform USD1.00 worth of tasks for others, sometimes taking as long as fifteen minutes. My task request essentially doubles the value of the mostly mindless tasks they perform. We can’t see the tasks they are performing, but we see the faces and spaces of new labor: domestic settings all around the world, with workers’ faces locked in the view, eyes darting around their screens as they earn pennies for mostly mindless tasks.