September 13, 2016
Sharing ideas: Lior Zalmanson

Asylum Arts helped me become comfortable defining myself as an artist, yet my main pursuit remains researching the Internet to understand human behavior in online environments. In the last few years, I've learned how to better align my love of art and research,  and bring them together improve the depth and the craft of the other.

For instance, my academic interest in crowdsourcing platforms, where companies utilize the wisdom and the labor of the crowds to finish large tasks, have led me to create  "Listening to the Enemy", an interactive work devised with fellow Asylum artist, Eran Hadas. "Listening" is an alternative audio guide to the Israel Museum creating through crowdsourcing, where people who cannot enter the museum give the commentaries. Not because they aren’t interested in Ancient Eastern archaeology or Islamic art – they just happen to live in Morocco, Pakistan, or Malaysia, countries which have no diplomatic relations with Israel.

My academic interest in the future of work has led me to write "Operator", a short film about a single-mom-killer-drone-operator. The inspiration for it came a few years ago when I co-organized a conference named "Robots in Human Society" and one of the panelists raised questions regarding the day-to-day life of drone operators and what ways the technology alleviates feelings of accountability. I decided to explore this in a film, rather than a paper. The film, happening in the near future, depicts drone operations as a 9 to 5 desk job and shows how the horrific decisions that are part of this daily "job" slowly creep into all aspects of life. Fortunately, the film was chosen to the short film competition in the Tribeca Film Festival of 2016.

 

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