The artwork: Praying for my Haters
To manage the image and content traffic that continuously rushes through their platforms, social media networks call on outsourcing companies that employ thousands of people whose profession—moderator—consists of sorting and censuring contents. Exposed to thousands of images each day, obliged to endure difficult work conditions, content moderators have access to limited psychological support and are bound to silence as a consequence of non-disclosure agreements. Over the course of a research trip to Manila in the Philippines with the aim of meeting moderators, Lauren Huret explores—through the figure of the “cursed image”—the psychological and physical consequences of this work, as well as its long term effects on our societies.
The work is presented in two components: a video and an architectural sculpture. The sculpture consists of a representation of Quezon City, a Manila neighbourhood. In an allusion to the opacity of the work that takes place inside these glass towers, the model dissimulates a corpus of stretched out, distorted and baroque images. The exhibition visitors can enter the model by slipping into the centre of the main circular building, from where they can glimpse computer servers camouflaged in the belly of the structure. This fantasized reconstruction, this skeleton of a furtively accessible architecture, presents itself as an analogy of social media interfaces.
The video opens with a view of a surreal, fantasized and haunted world: the panorama of the city of Manila is transformed into a hellish scenario. The resilience effect produced by the images is evoked through a soundtrack that mixes “karaoke hits” with city noises and whispers. The text expresses a subjective standpoint about the cursed image and attempts to question the notion of open content sharing in the era of a global neo-colonial economy, which impacts the life of thousands of people.
Praying For My Haters speaks of the traces that this web of taboos and prohibitions, violence and death leaves in its wake—traces whose forceful charge promises to endure well beyond its disappearance.
Lauren Huret (born in 1984 in Paris, FR, lives in Geneva) is an artist, video artist, performer and researcher. She completed the Master WORK.MASTER in Visual Arts (2013) at HEAD, University of Art and Design. His visual work, mainly composed of videos, performances and collages, deepens our ambiguous and confused relationships with the machine, especially those related to new technologies and the many unknowns aspects that result. She has just completed two solo exhibitions, one in France at the Centre Culturel Suisse de Paris and one in Basel at the Haus der Elektronischen Künste since February 2019. Lauren is currently in residence in New York until June 2019, benefiting from the residence of the Canton of Geneva in NY. She is preparing a solo exhibition at the Roerhs & Boetsch Gallery in Zurich for October 2019.