We contributed to HUSTLE, the first exhibition of the Science Gallery Lab Detroit, with two projects: Translate Hustle and Virtual Hustle. The final products of these projects were an interactive installation as well as a poster and a short motion picture.
As the gig economy becomes a larger and larger portion of the global workforce, Virtual Hustle explores this 21st-century shift in our lifestyles. The minimal setup of the installation imagines a dystopian future where the only jobs, that could be done by humans, are crowdsources by algorithms and computers. With this project, wanted to look at what the hustle increasingly is like for a large number of workers today.
The installation aims to convey the everyday experience of a large number of workers on platforms like Amazon’s Mechanical Turk or Fiverr. On the Work tab of the app, participants have to complete the typical, bite-sized tasks. The Ask section of the application includes a collection of personality cards, which show the responses of actual online workers about their experiences and personalities. Participants can also pose their own questions to these workers.
We also contributed two pieces that aim to show the spectrum of interpretations that the word hustle has. First, the poster shows the translations of or closest approximations to hustle in over 70 languages from all around the world. Second, the motion picture puts the theme into an everyday context, against the backdrop of the United States, using a found-footage technique to recontextualize original and found clips.
Photo credit: Mark Sullivan