Dinca — contemporary art blog

ScanOps (2011) & Workers Leaving the Googleplex (2011) by Andrew Norman Wilson

An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations – 365

The Inland Printer – 164

Wohlgemeynte Gedanken über den Dannemar – 281

Wohlgemeynte Gedanken über den Dannemar – 113

Wealth of Nations – 4

The Inland Printer – 152

The Economic Review – 592

Libraries – 109

by Andrew Norman Wilson

Some of Andrew Norman Wilson’s work, especially his work pertaining to google, explores the modern day digital proletariat class, and Google’s surreptitious marginalization of their lower-tier employees. Workers Leaving the Googleplex (2011) and ScanOps (2011) are two components of Wilson’s effort to examine Google’s colored badge worker system.

Workers Leaving the Googleplex (2011) is an essay video that Wilson filmed during his employment at Google, and the corollary of his filming of Workers resulted in his termination from Google. The film is an interesting and earnestly curious look at google’s colored badge worker system, with particular focus on the subordinate yellow badge workers that work in building 3.14159, scanning and digitizing books for Google Books.

ScanOps also plies the territory of internal Google operations. The images are culled from Google Books and are images, “in which software distortions, the scanning site, and the hands of ScanOps employees are visible.”

“ScanOps is (or was) the internal department name for Google’s onsite book scanning contractors.”

So the images (above) are distorted results of the work the yellow badge book scanners have completed during their 4am–2pm shift — a nice visual component to the film — Wilson plans on making analog reproductions of these digital images, perhaps in form of a book or “image/sculptures.”

Apart from his google-related efforts, Andrew Norman Wilson’s work typically carries a warm ingredient of white-collar levity (vide his pond5 remix videos and his FlowSpot Test videos made for pond5).

At his “Quicktime Playback Demo and Networking Session” screening at the Nightingale back in 2011, he would intermittently clunk down the stairs wearing rollerblades, descending from the projection area to grab a sports drink from DJ Office Max — who was spinning Yello’s “Oooooh Yeah” song — and Mr. Wilson quickly slaked his thirst with electrolites, only to sidle his way through the crowded venue and clunk back up the stairs to the projection booth to screen more pond5 remix videos.

Wilson deservedly has a forthcoming solo show at Chicago’s Threewalls gallery, we’ll keep you updated on that.

Workers Leaving the Googleplex, Andrew Norman Wilson, 2011, HD video, 11 min, color, sound

Workers Leaving the GooglePlex investigates a top secret, marginalized class of workers at Google’s international corporate headquarters in Silicon Valley. As I documented the mysterious yellow badged “ScanOps” Google workers, I simultaneously chronicled the complex events surrounding my own dismissal from the company. The reference to the Lumiere Brother’s 1895 film Workers Leaving the Factory situates the video within the history of motion pictures, suggesting both transformations and continuities in arrangements of labor, capital, media, and information.


Andrew Norman Wilson’s website

Andrew Norman Wilson on Vimeo

FlowSpot by Andrew Norman Wilson


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