Movement Materials and What We Can Do
Workers Leaving the Googleplex investigates the marginalized class of Google Books “ScanOps” workers at Google’s international corporate headquarters in Silicon Valley. Wilson documents the yellow badged ScanOps workers, while simultaneously chronicling the complex events surrounding his own dismissal from the company. The reference to the Lumière Brother’s 1895 film Workers Leaving the Factory situates the video within motion picture history, suggesting transformations and continuities in arrangements of labor, capital, media and information.
ScanOps is based on Google Books images in which software distortions, the scanning site, and the hands of the “ScanOps” employees are visible. Through varied analog presentations, the aesthetics of the images and the apparatuses that produced them are foregrounded over the originally intended content. These re-materializations are treated as photography—taking the form of framed image-sculptures, compiled in a mobile book-sculpture, and presented in a performance-lecture.
Throughout Movement Materials and What We Can Do medium-specific considerations and various histories of film (Lumières), video (Farocki), photography (Evans/Levine) and the internet are addressed—emphasizing the materiality of both analog and digital media and the labor processes they entail.