Songs for Non-Work is a collective thought-experiment and audio archive that shares field recordings of paid ‘non-work’ from thousands of sites of digital labour worldwide.

Every day, digital crowd-sourcing platforms such as Amazon Mechanical Turk invisibly manage millions of workers as they perform the low-paid maintenance work of the internet: labelling images, repetitive searches, taking surveys, and creating false participation in the form of hired ‘views’ and ‘hits.’

In Amazon’s words, their system is “artificial-artificial intelligence,” meaning that the appearance of the interface as artificial-intelligence is itself artificial. In other words, despite the easily manipulatable managerial framework that has the efficiency and coldness of a machine, there are thousands of humans workers hidden on the other side. Wages on AMT average around $1.38USD/hour.

Posing as an employer on such platforms, SFNW sets tasks to “not-work” for short sessions, and pays workers the equivalent of Silicon Valley Minimum Wage ($10.15USD/hr) for each session. Workers are also given the option of recording sound from this time, and submitting it to the archive.

The archive is comprised of thousands of 1-2 minute clips. It contains recordings of daily life, ambient noise, office labor, children playing, songs (both live and pre-produced), declarations, descriptions of cloud-working conditions, and a glimpse of what a global digital labour strike might sound like.

songsfornonwork.org

SFNW contains submissions from the following locations:

Alabama (US), Alappuzha (IN), Ambernath (IN), Anaheim (US), Anchorage (US), Angadipuram (IN), Atlanta (US), Auckland (NZ), Austin (US), Bangalore (IN), Banjaluka (BA), Beijing (CN), Belgaum (IN), Berlin (DE), Bhubaneswar (IN), Bikaner (IN), Bloomfield (US), Broomall (US), Brussels (BE), Bryn Mawr (US), Buffalo (US), Cairo (EG), Cape Cod (US), Casper (US), Chengdu (CN), Chennai (IN), Cheruvathur (IN), Chicago (US), Chitradurga (IN), Chittagong (BG), Coimbatore (IN), Columbus (US), Constanta (RO), Corvallis (US), Crewe (UK), Croydon (UK), Dallas (US), Dayton (US), Delhi (IN), Denver (US), Detroit (US), Dubai (AE), East Hampton (US), Edison (US), Erode (IN), Eugene (US), Faridabad (IN), Fayetteville (US), Flint (US), Frankfort (US), Fredericksburg (US), Galati (RO), Galveston (US), Glasgow (UK), Godley (US), Goldsboro (US), Guayaquil (EC), Halifax (CA), Hereso (IN), Hong Kong (CN), Houston (US), Hubli (IN), Huntington Beach (US), Hyderabad (IN), Idaho Falls (US), Indianapolis (US), Indore (IN), Ironton (US), Islamabad (PK), Issy-les-Moulineaux (FR), Jeddah (SA), Kalamazoo (US), Kannur (IN), Kavanad (IN), Kerala (IN), Kassel (DE), Kerlouan (FR), Khulna (BD), Kochi (IN), Kôchi (JP), Kolkata (IN), Laguna Beach (US), Lake Jackson (US), Las Vegas (US), Linz (AT), Little Egg Harbor (US), London (UK), Los Angeles (US), Lutts (US), Lynchburg (US), Lynnwood (US), Lyon (FR), Madurai (IN), Manchester (US), Mangalore (IN), Mecca (SA), Medicine Hat (CA), Memphis (US), Mexico City (MX), Miami (US), Milan (IT), Minneapolis (US), Milwaukee (US), Moore (US), Moscow (RU), Mountain View (US), Mumbai (IN), Muscat (OM), Nagpur (IN), Napa (US), New Haven (US), New Jersey (US), New York City (US), Norfolk (US), Northfield (US), Oakland (US), Oklahoma City (US), Oklahoma City (US), Omaha (US), Orlando (US), Orenburg (RU), Orlando (US), Oswego (US), Ottawa (CA), Paarl (ZA), Pattabiram (US), Paris (FR), Peoria (US), Philadelphia (US), Phoenix (US), Portland (US), Portsmouth (UK), Post Falls (US), Povai (IN), Pune (IN), Raleigh (US), Rangpur (BD), Richmond (CA), Richmond (US), Ridgecrest (US), Rochester (US), Saint John (CA), Salem (US), San Francisco (US), San Gabriel (US), San Jose (US), Sandy (IN), Seattle (US), Shenzhen (CN), Sivakasi (IN), Skopje (MK), Slough (UK), Songdu (KR), Spokane (US), St. Louis (US), Suzhou (CN), Syracuse (US), Taipei (TW), Tampa (US), Tbilisi (GE), Thane (IN), Thrissur (IN), Thrissur (IN), Toronto (CA), Toulouse (FR), Toyko (JP), Trivallur (IN), Trivandrum (IN), Tucson (US), Turin (IT), Trichy (IN), Unterschleißheim (DE), Vallejo (US), Vancouver (CA), Vellore (IN), Venice (IT), Ventura (US), Virginia Beach (US), Washington DC (US), Wellington (NZ), Winterport (US), Wuhan (CN), Zelenograd (RU), Zurich (CH).

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