Digital Labor

Mushon Zer-Aviv


Mushon Zer-Aviv is a designer, an educator and a media activist. His work and writing explores the boundaries of interface and the biases of techno-culture as they are redrawn through politics, design and networks. Among Mushon’s collaborations, he is the CO-founder of design studio; - a tour of Gaza through the streets of Tel Aviv; Kriegspiel - a Situationist computer game; the Turing Normalizing Machine - exploring algorithmic prejudice; the collaboratively authored book; and multiple civic hacking initiatives with the Public Knowledge Workshop; Mushon is an honorary resident at Eyebeam. He teaches digital media as a senior faculty member of Shenkar School of Engineering and Design and previously taught at NYU and Parsons. Read him at and follow him at @mushon.

Design the Future of the Networked Workplace Hackathon
Browser extensions like Turkopticon show that interface hacking is a practice ripe with opportunities for worker intervention in the digital workplace. Turkopticon’s thousands of users prove that such interventions are indeed appreciated, but are still too rare and limited to become a force to reckon with. Looking to cross the boundaries of academic discussion, this workshop/hackathon would invite participants to modify the interfaces of crowdsourcing platforms and other online sites of digital labor. Through this hands-on session we will suggest enhancements, amendments and challenges to the dominant interfaces of production and control. Borrowing Silicon Valley terminology such as ‘beta,’ ‘user centered design,’ ‘hackathon,’ ‘rapid innovation’ and even the term ‘crowdsourcing’ itself, we would set the ground for an experiment in political imagination. The positive and proactive framing of the hackathon could also serve as a opportunity to engage workers, unions, academics, designers, technologists and even companies such as AMT in the debate. The results of this session would be browser extensions, hacks and prototypes which could potentially begin to carve some space for worker solidarity, political organization and the unionization of the networked workforce.

How Interfaces Demand Obedience
The internet, once associated with openness and decentralization, is increasingly understood in terms of the control exerted by government agencies (like the NSA) and advertising (targeted ads). What is less commonly discussed is how this subliminal control is embedded in interface design. In this talk I argue that web interfaces demand our silent obedience with every page load and I try to offer tactics and strategies for challenging the politics of the interface. This talk ties in with the Saturday launch of AdNauseam, the browser extension that clicks on all the ads and the digital labor intervention hackathon that would take place on Sunday morning.

AdNauseam Launch
We are delighted to present the launch of AdNauseam at #DL14. AdNauseam is another tool in the series of resistance to data capture and digital labor through obfuscation. AdNauseum creators, Daniel Howe, Helen Nissenbaum, and Mushon Zer-Aviv will demo AdNauseum, explain design choices, and address political challenges.

AdNauseam is a browser extension designed to obfuscate browsing data and protect users from surveillance and tracking by advertising networks. With the help of AdBlock Plus it hides users’ interests in a plain sight by automatically clicking all ads presented on the web pages we visit. By assembling and listing the images of all these ads, its interface reveals to users how we are perceived by our commercial trackers. AdNauseam is a means also to express our discontent with the flagrant disregard for privacy that facilitates bulk surveillance agendas.

Launch of AdNauseam
Sat, November 15
04:30 PM - 06:00 PM

How Interfaces Demand Obedience
Fri, November 14
05:15 PM - 06:00 PM

Design the Future of the Networked Workplace
Sun, November 16
12:00 PM - 03:00 PM