Jeremy Hutchison

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Gesture Control, 2014

Gesture Control is a term recently coined by the consumer electronics industry. It describes a technology that allows users to administer commands to their TV / laptop / smartphone via simple bodily gestures. Or, as the marketing slogan for Xbox Kinect expresses it: You are the Controller. A small camera embedded in their digital device tracks the movements of the user’s anatomy. As such, organic matter replaces the remote control. The body becomes a vessel for a language of patented gestures - owned by Apple, Microsoft, Samsung or Sony.

This project interrogates the implications of this anatomic-linguistic regis- ter. In a world that was recently shaken by the revelations of NSA surveillance, can the user truly be said to be the Controller? While gesture-based technology takes root across the electronic industry, this work forewarns against a future where global consumers become the unpaid physical labourers of a sophisticated data capture mechanism - from the comfort of their own living rooms.

In producing this work, Hutchison has employed a workforce of online labourers to perform a series of these patented gestures. These workers’ online profiles typically include the phrase “I will do anything you want for $5”. In this regard, this work investigates how a capitalist pro- cedure mechanises the anatomy, grafting its logic in the muscles, skin, bones and sinews of a global population. As such, human flesh is transformed into a site of neoliberal discourse.