Digital Labor

Reading from I'm that angel

Sat, November 15
05:00 PM - 05:45 PM
Location upon RSVP

Limited seats available.

I’m that angel is a book and series of performances, frequently sited in data centers. The protagonist of the text is a content farmer, filing articles based on words peaking in Google Trends. A high quota of trending language, the wisdom goes, will trick the algorithm into awarding higher search rankings, yielding more “eyeballs” on the article—a standard metric of our online value.

Writing from this perspective was an exercise in claiming time and space in a field of production structured by quotas of language. Given that we rarely register strict delineations of personal and waged computer work, Coburn envisaged the spans between buzzwords as spaces to disclose the character’s inner life through anecdotes, speculations, anxieties, rants and the bits and bobs of cultural matter that periodically seed our individual content farms. The method is provisional—and the cultural analysis sometimes cripplingly pessimistic—but there’s also a belief in the book about the literary possibilities for the programmatic and vernacular languages of the Internet.