Technologies of Care

Description (in English): 

Video art installation critical of the precarious, racialised, and gendered labour going on through the internet, or born-digital.

Pull Quotes: 

"- What are the benefits of presenting yourself as a male freelancer?

- I work in academia, I am no stranger to the wage gap and heteronormativity in our society. I am sure that women make less than their male counterparts for the same work and I am also Latin American. Being a Latino woman makes me more prone to receiving less for the same hard work


I have seen a difference between presenting oneself as a man in contrast with my daughter who presents herself as a woman: she does the same work and gets hired significantly less. She also has to use milder language and say 'please' and 'sorry' a lot more or she would come across as too bossy and difficult to work with." (Worker 1)

Contributors note: 

Giardina Papa portrays workers who offer digital micro-services, fetish work or emotional support online, and gives them a voice. In Technologies of Care, we meet seven digital workers: an ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) artist, a virtual boyfriend, an online dating coach, a storyteller and video performer, a social media fan, a scientist working simultaneously as fingernail designer, and a customer service representative. Papa has found these freelancers in Brazil, Greece, the Philippines, Venezuela and the USA, where they offer their services anonymously via online platforms, which make a profit from them. With the exception of the virtual boyfriend, all in- terviews are interpreted by female-sounding voices. While the transcripts read like ethnographic research texts, the interviews in the video function like chamber plays on unfettered digital neoliberalism. (IA)

Technologies of Care​ documents new ways in which service and affective labor are being outsourced via internet platforms, exploring topics such as empathy, precarity, and immaterial labor.

The video visualizes the invisible workforce of online caregivers. The workers interviewed in "Technologies of Care" ​include an ASMR artist, an online dating coach, a fetish video performer and fairytale author, a social media fan-for-hire, a nail wrap designer, and a customer service operator. Based in Brazil, Greece, the Philippines, Venezuela, and the United States, they work as anonymous freelancers, connected via third-party companies to customers around the globe. Through a variety of websites and apps, they provide clients with customized goods and experiences, erotic stimulation, companionship, and emotional support.

The stories collected in ​Technologies of Care include those of non-human caregivers as well. One of its seven episodes, ​Worker 7 - Bot? Virtual Boyfriend/Girlfriend​, documents the artist's three-month-long “affair” with an interactive chatbot.

Research Collection that references this work:

Screen shots: 

Technologies of Care/Worker 1 - excerpt, 2016.

Technologies of Care/worker 7 - bot? virtual boyfriend - excerpt, 2016.

Technologies of Care/Worker 2 - excerpt, 2016.

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Record posted by: 
Maud Ceuterick