The Invisible Worker is a new zine exploring the interface between work and technology, using writing and visual art to highlight how new forms of technology are changing the workplace. By creating collaborative publications, which involve workers, and place politics at their heart, we hope to shape the discourse surrounding worker rights in the 21st century.
When we think about our relationship to the web services we use, we tend to situate ourselves as users. But whether you’re using Facebook, Google Maps, Twitter or Candy Crush Saga, understanding your relationship with these web platforms as one of user and provider, misses out on the vital role that you play in creating value and helping the owners to turn a profit. The labour that you provide in creating content, building data sets, and engaging with advertising, provides the basic model by which the companies that make them extract value.
Issue 2 of The Invisible Worker will explore the types of unwaged work that we do online, from social media sites, to geolocation apps. We’ll explore what this work is, how it is used, why it matters and what alternatives exist.
We’re looking for articles, poems, stories, essays, illustrations, photos, or anything else which explores the things we do online that help others extract value.
Deadline for Submission: 31/01/19
Please send pitches, ideas, thoughts or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Platform Worker
Work was once a matter of place. What work you did was dictated by what jobs were available in your town, city or country and the only way around this was to migrate. But new forms of communication technology are changing this. It started with the telephone in the 70’s, allowing work to be out-sourced to call centers in Asia. Now online platforms, such as Upwork, Amazon Mechanical Turk and Fiver, are taking up the mantle, detaching work from its spatial bounding’s and complicating questions surrounding minimum wage, resulting in some earning as little as $2 an hour.
Issue 1 explores work on online work platforms, what it is, what it’s like to work on a platform, and what global the implications are for the world of work.