50 channel video installation, Full HD, 16:9, sound, 11:23 min, loop
LCD screens, trolley stands, cables
Ashley Madison Angels At Work Near Lausanne is part of a series of works researching Ashley Madison, a Canadian online dating service marketed worldwide to married people seeking casual sex. In July and August 2015, an anonymous group called The Impact Team stole and released all of Ashley Madison’s internal data – including the entire website code and functionality, customer data and the CEO’s emails. The data breach revealed that with a disproportionate number of male subscribers and virtually no human women on the site Ashley Madison had created an army of 75,000 female chatbots to draw the 32 million male users into (costly) conversations.
!Mediengruppe Bitnik use Ashley Madison as a case study to raise questions around the current relationship between human and machine, Internet intimacy and the use of virtual platforms to disrupt the physical. For ArtLab, they use the localized data from the Ashley Madison hack to give a temporary physical embodiment to 50 of the fembots located closest to ArtLab in Lausanne at the time of the data breach. Each fembot has a name, an age and a location and uses sentences from a list of pick up lines to contact other users. The 50 fembots in and around Lausanne provided “entertainment” to a lot of registered users in the area.