Sebastian Schmieg | Hopes and Deliveries | 2017–2018 08.12.2018 – 17.02.2019 | Fotomuseum Winterthur


Sebastian Schmieg, Hopes and Deliveries, 2017-2018, SITUATION #154, SITUATIONS/To look is to labor, installation view at Fotomuseum Winterthur, 2018 © Philipp Ottendörfer is one of the many online marketplaces that constitute the so-called gig economy. Here a global digital labour-force offers services of all kind – from social media marketing to financial accounting, from logo design to recording voice overs – starting at a price of five dollars. In Hopes and Deliveries, Sebastian Schmieg exploits a security hole on the platform to retrieve and display thousands of videos produced by gig workers for their clients. Playing on two smartphones strapped to a sweater, the installation suggests the ghostly presence of the body in the neoliberal work of the “human cloud”, displaced from the traditional workplace yet available 24/7 to perform for clients. The images visualise the result of the precarious entrepreneurship of this networked labour-force but also the desires of global internet customers. Finally, it reveals the fierce competition that leads to what the artist calls “survival creativity” – constantly creating new ideas to survive in a competitive field – of the global networked marketplace.

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