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Cue China

This installation lifts unknown Chinese factory workers out of anonymity – suddenly, they are right before our eyes.

It would be no exaggeration to say that the labor of Chinese factory workers makes up “the fabric of our lives.” We wear clothes made by them, we spend all day staring at screens assembled by them and we communicate through circuits soldered by them. With this projection, these unknown workers come up close to us. What happens if, following a simple hardware update, your computer screen shows only the face of someone involved in making that very computer? And what if he or she could also see you? Performer Ant Hampton made recordings of video chats between himself and several Chinese workers. In this installation, you look right into the eyes of the people behind the products that we take for granted every day. At times, Hampton’s face merges completely with those of the workers; at other times, they touch one another’s faces, as if trying to check whether it’s their own face they’re seeing or the other person’s. One man says that he has been poisoned in the factory and that he finally wants to tell someone about it. This chat turns out to be much more dangerous for him than for Hampton. 

Selected for IDFA 2015 and presented as part of the DocLab: Seamless Reality program by IDFA and De Brakke Grond as an interactive installation from 19-29 November.

Cue China – short promo from Ant Hampton on Vimeo.

Project details

Year of development :2012
Created by:Ant Hampton
With:Katja Timmerberg

Available formats