Video

The Heritage


A future of work when automation is not only cold and instrumental but is also able to carry cultural heritage and incorporate people's learnings to machinery works.





This work is part of a design studio, Futures of Work, where we investigated the issues surrounding work today – how, why, who, where, and even if.


The goal of the Futures of Work studio was to reveal new issues related to this subject, and to expand the dimensions of familiar tropes about work, working, and workers in the coming years. Punctuated by a series of discussions and presentations with experts, our inquiries centered on the production of short video vignettes speculating on social, technological, cultural, practical issues regarding these ubiquitous but often over-simplified questions.

A 4-week studio led by Ben Hooker & Tim Durfee. Project collaborated with Jeremy Chen.


A future of work when automation is not only cold and instrumental but is also able to carry cultural heritage and incorporate people's learnings to machinery works.

The vignette happens in a setting when human movements can be extracted and transferred to other organics.

In the video, the protagonist deploys dancing patterns, which is a performance from the Olympic Opening Ceremony, to a new scenario and teaches the robots to chop the meat using the motion. From Olympic Games to "Olympia Farm" and even to more scenarios such as directing traffic or hammering a nail, the captured motion will become a commodity as well as a heritage that is embedded in the future of work.

From the juxtaposition of two grand scenes(the Olympic Games performance and the robots in Olympia Farm), we also question if labor can be considered as a new entertainment when working becomes performative and enjoyable to watch.

Process

Future of motion capture is big. How to narrow it down?


This project begins with an interest in motion capture. What is its future potential? In order to better understand the possibilities, we decided to experiment with it in a simple way.

In a team of two, we start with some general phrases like “motion capture” and assigned ourselves five minutes to write down whatever came to mind when we thought about what that phrase meant to us.


We then read each other's stories, had conversations, and used those reactions as prompts for further writing. During the second round, we continue to write but based on each other’s stories for another five minutes. We repeated this process several times.

The purpose of this exercise was not to create something beautiful, nor did we edit, critique or attempt any kind of facilitation or improvement upon our peers’ stories. The goal was simply to read each other’s stories and use them as a springboard for further writing.



The final result is a collection of speculations that are inspired by the original phrase and developed over time through successive iterations of free writing.


Mavis Cao 2022, Pasadena, CA