Stephanie Rothenberg, Annie Ok, Jeff Crouse: Invisible Threads/10 Steps to Your own Virtual Sweatshop

  • ©, Stephanie Rothenberg, Annie Ok, and Jeff Crouse, Invisible Threads/10 Steps to Your own Virtual Sweatshop
  • ©, Stephanie Rothenberg, Annie Ok, and Jeff Crouse, Invisible Threads/10 Steps to Your own Virtual Sweatshop
  • ©, Stephanie Rothenberg, Annie Ok, and Jeff Crouse, Invisible Threads/10 Steps to Your own Virtual Sweatshop

Artist(s):


Title:


    Invisible Threads/10 Steps to Your own Virtual Sweatshop

Symposium:


Venue(s):


Medium:


    Second Life, webcam, large format printer, fabric

Artist Statement:


    10 Steps to Your Own Virtual Sweatshop is a humorous how-to for aspiring virtual entrepreneurs based on the mixed reality performance installation Invisible Threads. The project explores the growing intersection between labour, emerging virtual economies and real life commodities through the creation of a designer jeans sweatshop in the 3D online world of Second Life. Simulating a real life manufacturing facility that includes hiring Second Life ‘workers’ to produce real world, wearable jeans sold for profit, the project provides an insider’s view into new forms of global, telematic manufacturing.

    In the physical space, gallery visitors are able to purchase a pair of Double Happiness Jeans on demand through a retail kiosk equipped with a Second Life (SL) computer interface. A microphone and web cam connected to a computer creates a live stream of each customer’s order into the virtual factory. The audio/video stream, projected inside the factory, enables SL workers to see each customer and hear their order. On the assembly line, the first worker starts the production process that involves loading cotton bales into the Jacquard loom. Once the fabric is made it moves down the assembly line through each machine – dye vats, sewing machines, quality control. Each worker is responsible for selecting the correct options based on the customer’s order. Customers watch their jean orders being produced in real time in the virtual factory via a computer projection in the physical space. At the end of the production process, the jeans go through the SL to real life ‘portal’ resulting in an output from a large format printer onto fabric.


Contributors:


    With support of Eyebeam, New York


Category: