Ars Electronica 2007
Festival-Website 2007
Back to:
Festival 1979-2007


SUNDAY files

'Nik Thoenen Nik Thoenen / 'Maia Gusberti Maia Gusberti

SUNDAY files are collected on Sundays. And only on Sundays. These are real-time images fed onto the Internet from webcams used for interior surveillance. They mostly show classrooms, offices and workplaces in which cameras keep tabs on the productive activities of employees on weekdays.

Information technologies have changed the world of work. Many activities take place only on the computer or in digital networks. When personnel are absent from the workplace on Sunday, all that’s visible are anonymous, functional architecture and infrastructure. The input and output devices that pass the time in sleep mode prior to their next deployment demonstrate mechanical 24-hour availability. They await human personnel while simultaneously calling them into question. And they also allude to the breakdown of mandated, uniform working hours, to flexitime work schedules and the globalization of labor. Fed into global networks, these emptied workplaces embody the spatial, geographic and temporal substitutability of space and of the workforce itself.

In the Western world, Sunday as a day of rest is (still) a widely accepted norm; nevertheless, the restrictions that society places on working on this day are steadily being loosened and the legal sanctions enforcing a day of rest are increasingly being called into question politically as well. The slow, automated, almost rapt images recorded from the monitor displaying what is captured by the eternally vigilant webcams are complemented by acoustic fragments of our work on the SUNDAY files—that is, the sounds of the production of the project itself.

The result is a temporally and geographically nested space in which our camera documents these spaces through the lens of someone else’s camera and inscribes into this silent, telematically- charged space the soundtrack of our own work.

Translated from German by Mel Greenwald

Idea: Maia Gusberti
Concept, sound, graphics and editing: Maia Gusberti and Nik Thönen