SATISFACTORY - The Human Production is a photo project that reveals human labor behind industrially manufactured products. By photographing both the manual and the automated production processes in a factory, the attention should be directed to the craft of the workers.
The project was realized at the lightning manufacturer Zumtobel, where I could visit the production site in Dornbirn. During summer jobs I produced the Tecton-C Lights that turned into central elements of the photo project.
The work environment of the factory is described along the origin of a product, the alienated labor and the relationship between the worker and the product. Every step leading to the final product consists of a multitude of elements: the passing through the production site on an assembly line, the direct contact of the worker with a product and the control of a machine. Factories are characterized by dualisms: companies and workers, producers and consumers, humans and machines.
The industrial space where products are manufactured in shift work is not in the public eye – the production process remains mostly hidden to the consumer. Consumers have no relation to the manufacturing process or to the conditions under which the work is done. The product description only reveals its country of origin. In the factory, the arrangement of the workspace leads to a symbiosis between humans and machines. The production steps are carried out by workers and their manual skills as well as by robots and artificial intelligence. The serial and “collaborative” work with machines exposes the dehumanized aspect of factory work. But, also in robotic and automatized workspaces, processes rely on the intelligence of hand movements and the control of robots. Industrially manufactured products are examined from the point of view of the workers as craftsmen with an emphasis on the human touch.
- Winter Semester 20/21
- Neslihan Kiran