Postmodern Times, 2016–17
Shot-by-shot video recreation of Chaplin’s Modern Times made by commissioning short clips from online workers on labor platforms Fiverr.com and Amazon Mechanical Turk 87’ Produced with the support of LACMA’s Art + Technology Lab
Postmodern Times (2016–17) is a shot-by-shot recreation of Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times. I commissioned online workers on the digital platform Fiverr.com to recreate short clips from the film, which are interspersed with clips from the original film. Each clip was produced by different workers, resulting in a fragmented and chaotic work that reflects the conditions of digital labor itself. Postmodern Times also features a score that weaves together various interpretations of the original soundtrack, including a generic presentation of the MIDI data, passionate interpretations of the original score performed by musicians on Fiverr.com, and traces of the original score and foley sounds to connect the sound back to the original score. The transformative remix produces a chaotic soundtrack that splinters into digital glitches, only to reassemble around key leitmotifs present in the original score, which itself is representative of the conditions of the work’s creation.