During her residency, Swintak will be starting a new work: an absurdist interpretation of an online purchase supply chain, from desire and customization, to manufacturing and delivery. Amazon and other online marketplaces have spawned a global e-commerce boom that has fundamentally changed the way we shop: we buy whatever we want, wherever we want, whenever we want. At the same time, manufacturing has moved into an era termed Industry 4.0, where automation has been enhanced with smart autonomous systems fuelled by data and machine learning. Virtual shopping interfaces and augmented purchase decision processes have integrated with manufacturing to provide an endlessly evolving cycle of desire and consummation. Inspired by The Way Things Go, a 1987 art film by Peter Fischli and David Weiss that documents a long causal chain of everyday objects, the project aims to both illustrate and aesthetically explore key pressure points of human-machine integration in the online purchase supply chain. While personalization, efficiency and fast delivery are the perks of the user experience, the Internet of things has no empathy for the people producing them. Algorithmic bias should come as no surprise, as the systems are designed to create unfair outcomes privileging one group’s ideology over all others, mostly that of rich, white, capitalist men. While in residency, Swintak will experiment with a range of media-based approaches. Her aim is to create elements that will be incorporated in a future large-scale installation. The artist will share the results of her at-home residency work as part of a public presentation which will be announced shortly.
Swintak is the recipient of the New Media Creation Grant Caisse Desjardins du Plateau-Mont-Royal, offered through a partnership between OBORO and the Caisse Desjardins du Plateau-Mont-Royal.