Artist file


Éva et Franco Mattes * 1976 in Italie, lives in New York

For BEFNOED - “By Everyone For No One Every Day” - Eva and Franco Mattes have given anonymous workers detailed instructions on how to carry out webcam performances. The artists do not know who these workers, taken on via a crowdsourcing platform, are, or where they are, or what their motivation is. The origins of crowdsourcing go back to 1999 when SETI, the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence, launched SETI@home, a programme in which anyone who has a home computer can he [...]

For BEFNOED - “By Everyone For No One Every Day” - Eva and Franco Mattes have given anonymous workers detailed instructions on how to carry out webcam performances. The artists do not know who these workers, taken on via a crowdsourcing platform, are, or where they are, or what their motivation is. The origins of crowdsourcing go back to 1999 when SETI, the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence, launched SETI@home, a programme in which anyone who has a home computer can help sort the data of the Arecibo radio telescope, the result being the most powerful computer of the period. By 2020, 83% of the businesses in the world will call on crowd labour, a workforce that is growing exponentially in a totally deregulated way. The crowdsourcing platforms relay calls for offers taking the form of competitions. Out of fifty individuals who try their luck, only one will be paid, at a low cost and to the detriment of professionals in the field in question. The others will have worked for nothing! And this is how the digital sector can expand its profits only with the help of a very cheap workforce: All users of the global web who offer these services whether for resale or not constitute a generalisation of working for free or enslavement closer to the Middle Ages than the utopia of the liberation of workers through the automation of tasks. For the installation of BEFNOED, the monitors are set up in an atypical arrangement: They are placed one against the other, or located a few feet above the ground. In order to watch the video, viewers, forced into uncomfortable and odd positions, in a way become performers in the space. Looking at people paid to perform and entertain transforms the viewers themselves into subjects.

Eva and Franco Mattes (*1976, Italy, live and work in New York). Their medium is a combination of the Internet, videos and installations. They explore the sets of ethical and moral problems that arise when people interact remotely, especially via social networks, creating situations where it becomes hard to distinguish reality from a simulation. Their works have been seen at many institutions including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Biennale für aktuelle Fotografie of Mannheim; Yokohama Triennale; the Biennale of Sydney; Whitechapel Gallery, London; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; the Sundance Film Festival; MoMA PS1, New York; Performa, New York; New Museum, New York as well as the Venice Biennale in 2001. Eva and Franco Mattes are represented by the Postmasters gallery in New York and the Carroll/Fletcher gallery in London.

Photography : Eva et Franco Mattes, BEFNOED, 2014

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