Rituals of Technological Placemaking


In Office Plants I, Conference Call, Office Bathroom, Self-Flagellation, and The Wing, the workers inhabit the same physical spaces as tech workers in our world. They are uniform, interchangeable, uncomplaining, and productive. They attend conference calls, surveil and exploit themselves and their fellow workers, and perform their roles meticulously all while hiding aspects of their individuality that might disturb the status quo. However, the work they perform is absurd. Their strange but plausible work rituals highlight the peculiarity of work culture as it exists.

Building a Large Blood Battery and Performing Work are staged outside of two worksites known for poor working conditions and abuse of workers. In Building a Large Blood Battery, an oversized battery made with human blood powers a tiny motorized finger. The machine is inefficient and has no apparent purpose. In Performing Work, a person in a white suit performs an elaborate ritual in front of a group of seated workers before revealing that they are hollow masks. Behind them, a second worker drifts to shore and walks by. In both videos, the workers are motivated by anti-productivity and de-optimization, and ultimately turn away from the workplaces behind them.

Building a large blood battery in front of the Tesla Gigafactory in Sparks, Nevada
Director, performer: ann haeyoung / Producer: Dan Fethke / Director of Photography: Olivia Booker

Performing Work Outside of the Amazon Distribution Center in Staten Island, NY

Director: ann haeyoung / Performers: Ellen Ko, Ana Guzmán Quintero / Director of Photography: Olivia Booker

Conference Call
Director: ann haeyoung / Performers: Rachel Lin, Julia Zhou, Dan Fethke / Camera: Haan Lee

Office Plants I
Director, performer: ann haeyoung / Camera: Haan Lee

Office Bathroom
Director, performer, camera: ann haeyoung

Self flagellation or massage with a mouse while looking at the Google building

Director, performer: ann haeyoung / Camera: Amit Runchal

The Wing
Director, camera: ann haeyoung / Performer: Rachel Lin

ann [ at ] a-tbd.com