Benjamin's prophecy of 'democratization of arts' seems to be realized by the universalization of smart devices that guarantee the ubiquity of access and use. Music, for example, is an extremely usable smart device that lets you skip the process of learning how to play individual instruments that require proficiency, and then jump right into the array of notes. The UI of the software that has been carefully studied so that it can be understood intuitively from child to the elderly seems to say "If you do not understand this, you are really stupid." So in the first and second worlds where there is enough people who can buy the iPhones, is democratization of creation and distribution happier for both consumers and suppliers really happening?
The democratization of creation and distribution means if anyone has a device, he or she can work on it and show the result to the public. However, this is only an equality of formal meaning, and the algorithms in the distributed platform have an imbalance of exposure. In order for a musician to reveal his/her presence in the broad world of music, if he or she does not rely on a miraculous coincidence in which a sound source or video takes a "viral”, there is no other way to do so. Internet-based musicians who are anticipating this transformed debut must endeavor to work in the free labor of grooming the virtual platform-ego, while at the same time, work hard in real-world for self-preservation.
In order to illuminate the peculiar kind of Internet-based precariartist with the pessimistic perception of reality, collective 업체eobchae restored the soul of ‘Gwerom Lee’, a hypothetical Internet-based musician, as a form of her solo concert. We conducted an effective memorial ceremony with VR by lively playing back the musics which Gwerom Lee had created in life.
⥥ Gwerom's solo concert ⥥
➠ Go to watch the full version
Here collective 업체eobchae focuses on the dualistic and paradoxical moments that digital unpaid labor shows: an artist’s attitude of being willing to be a precariartist in reality for the growth of the platform-ego, normalized self-precarization which are concealed by the declaration of 'what I want to do', the neo-liberal variation of the historical antagonism of the two urge of creation and self-preservation, the search for the way of artist’s living after democratization of digital creation-distribution, and mourning for another Gwerom Lee who were swept over the sea of net - like a buoy and were renewed by other data.
This project is a work of collective ‘업체eobchae’ that I belong to. I created the graphic poster for the exhibition, source clips for the main piece, the VR memorial room for the dead precariartist using Unity3D and the sound recording streaming website.