Simon Denny “Worker Cage Document Reliefs” at Fine Arts, Sydney, Sidney
Fine Arts, Sydney is presenting an exhibition of new work by Simon Denny.
A patent granted to the cloud computing, e-commerce and artificial intelligence company Amazon.com in 2017 that was highlighted in a project by artificial intelligence ethics researchers in 2019 (https://anatomyof.ai) has become a motif in recent works by Simon Denny. This patent is for a ‘system and method for transporting personnel within an active workspace’, and describes a device that is essentially a cage to contain a human worker within a highly automated workplace environment. It is a stark vision of the changing relationships between humans and machines in a data-fuelled economy, speaking of the interconnectedness of a globalised world, entangled supply chains, and the interactions of objects and bodies. The image of the ‘worker’s cage’ has other resonances in a post-COVID-19 world, where interconnected single cells for remote work have been increasingly normalised and labour disruptions have accelerated.
For these new works, Denny has modelled a description of the device subject to the patent. To actualise the patent’s key illustration in three-dimensional space, he has employed the assistance of a rapid-prototyping tool which was designed to produce small 3D prints by stacking, cutting, and gluing sheets of paper in multiple layers. This rapid-prototyping tool was designed in the last decade, and was found to be commercially unviable due to its extremely time consuming and labour-intensive process. Using this tool, Denny has created paper stacks of the patent documents that describe the ‘worker’s cage’ system, into which a 3D model of the device has been embedded and carved out by the artist’s hand.
At Fine Arts, Sydney
until 8 August 2020