Gesture Control

Gesture Control is a term coined by the consumer electronics industry. It describes a technology that allows users to administer commands to their TV / laptop / smartphone via simple bodily gestures. Or, as the marketing slogan for Xbox Kinect expresses it: You are the Controller. A small camera embedded in their digital device tracks the movements of the user’s anatomy. As such, organic matter replaces the remote control. The body becomes a vessel for a language of patented gestures - owned by Apple, Microsoft, Samsung or Sony.

This project interrogates the implications of this anatomic-linguistic register. In a world that was recently shaken by the revelations of NSA surveillance, can the user truly be said to be the Controller? While gesture-based technology takes root across the electronic industry, this work forewarns against a future where global consumers become the unpaid physical labourers of a sophisticated data capture mechanism - from the comfort of their own living rooms.

In producing this work, I employed a workforce of online labourers to perform a series of patented gestures. Their online profiles typically include the phrase “I will do anything you want for $5”. In this regard, this work investigates how a capitalist procedure mechanises the anatomy, puppeteering human flesh with an economic logic.

Date : 2014
Media :
HD video (5.34 mins)  
Commissioner : Modern Art Oxford
Exhibitions : Modern Art Oxford, Division of Labour (London)