This project is a part of MIT, web-platform investigating algorithmic surveillance, commissioned by Garage Museum.
I investigate the contemporary ecosystem of workplace algorithmic surveillance deployed by Yandex, Russian Google-like IT monopoly. Yandex presents a unique case of an IT-monopoly that is involved in logistical networks through its multiple products, each being the part of the more extensive system, - taxi, food delivery, maps and algorithmic solutions for business logistics. Not having a competition with other monopolists in the field like Uber, the Russian branch of which Yandex bought in 2017, and far surpassing Google in all other markets, Yandex can create an enormous logistical network and solutions for its surveillance.
The majority of Yandex couriers and taxi drivers were anonymously reporting exhaustion, starvation, deaths due to overwork, and an impossibility for unionisation. Massive miscalculations of the time needed by the workers to cover certain distance make it impossible to rest or to comply with the delivery requirements as a whole, resulting in heavy cuts from the wages. In the first half of April, I will conduct five interviews with workers from the taxi and delivery Yandex services about their work experience, with particular attention towards their perception of space during work, algorithmic mistakes, and managerial concept of truth that these algorithms aim to guarantee.
So far, delivery workers have been talking publicly only under fake names, being concerned with their safety due to the total surveillance of Yandex. Therefore, most likely, these interviews are going to be presented anonymously, as modulated voices, leaving the space for the visual narrative to be structured as a 3D environment. This 3D environment will be produced as a flyover through the various photogrammetries of Moscow streets, that would be mentioned in the interviews. The 3D environment will change according to the narrative of interviews, giving the feeling of never-ending disorientation. Feeling of disorientation and vertigo is enormously important for the representation of cases, inflicted by colonial violence (Engelhardt & Shestakova, 2020). Overimposed with user-oriented app interface showing the corresponding route on the map, it will create the clash of front-end map, viewers are used to, against back-end embodied experience, always absent in logistical networks.