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“The Bots (Italian market)” now streaming on DIS

Somewhere — maybe, let’s say, in Berlin — people sit behind screens in drab office buildings and get shown everything from pictures of topless Jesus to snuff videos and decide what stays, what goes, and what gets “escalated.”

Day in and out, content moderators are forced to skim the worst social media has to offer and to process it “unemotionally.” They’re delivered updated rules and guidelines that often seem arbitrary or conflictual.

The bots are not bots and often, before long, they quit, burnt out staring at the worst and the most banal humanity has to offer. The Bots is a new piece that recounts interviews we conducted with the workers social media keeps hidden.

“E3: The Bots (Italian Market)”, featuring Ruby McCollister, now streaming on DIS and installed at Fotomuseum Winterthur for our exhibition Dear Imaginary Audience,