- Amazon Dance Studio Nico Anguili
work in progress!!!
The e-commerce algorithms are tools designed – above all – to determine the working praxis of the employees, their postures, and even their attitudes; this is a new body paradigm I define Labor Dollification: a techno-capitalistic practice expressed through standardization, objectivization, self-exploiting and total control of the workers’ bodies. Some examples are the Amazon pickers' parametrized performances; they are imposed a minimum set of targets per minute/per hour/per day; or the "S.M.A.R.T. Gestures" rules according to which the workers can move just in that specific SMART way (where M stands for 'mid-range movements' and T means 'tip not turn').
Amazon Dance will – in the frame of EMAP/ EMARE edition 2021 – investigate the Skuvault algorithm used in Amazon for the storage of items.The research will define a method to translate the Skuvault into a dance score: creating a team (with a software designer, a choreographer, some dancers & workers) we will extrapolate the Skuvault source code and flowchart creating specific “choreographic cells”: a sort of key sequence that brings back the main function of the Skuvault; these cells will be decoded (via software) into dance score and then staged by dancers.
We want, on one hand, to re-materialize the elusive logics that are characterizing globalized and dematerialized work; on the other hand, we want to define one of the bio-political visions relating to the contemporary body and which coincides precisely with the paradigm of Labor Dollification. These algorithms need other narrations to be rematerialized and then displayed out of the fulfillment centres.
Amazon Dance is a broader research that aims, in the next years, to investigate also the algorithms used in Walmart, Alibaba, and eBay for the sorting, the inventorying, the picking, the packing phases; the ones used in the kiva’s rooms (where human workers are required to wear wi-fi jackets), for the functioning of the GPS gun scanners and the electronic bracelets (which have never been used but patented in two different variants in the US).