Users interact with an Ipad and the router. The ipad servers as the physical access point to the browser. The LIQUID Router visualizes the third-party tracker requests for your data during your browser experience. Join the Liquid Router and see which sites want your data. A raspberry pi acts as the router, triggering a peristaltic pump when requests made by certain third-party trackers (sourced from multiple ad-blocker lists) and transfers a color liquid to a lower vessel. Through time, the vessel will transition color, highlighting the veil-lance economy where your free-time is liquidated.
This project sheds light on the invisible labor powering much of our digital comforts — from platforms like Mechanical Turk, to outsourced content moderation work. This work is essential for “technological progress”, but is kept behind curtains, and unknown to the average “user”.
A video plays on the headset — recordings from Mechanical Turks, responding to interview questions (paid according to NY minimum wage standards, as opposed to the $0.01 – $0.15 standard on MTurk). But in order to view and hear the video clearly, someone else must get down on the floor and turn the crank. The participants' physical positions amplify the social structures and power dynamics at play.