℗ Cat-Dog

Musical Theater, Composition

“Cat dog” is a performance of augmented musical theater. It features two protagonists, who classify the most violent images produced by mankind to clean up the artificial monsters that are our social networks. If artificial intelligence began by classifying cats and dogs, it is now responsible for defining the moral boundaries of our societies, by defining the intolerable. The digital cleaners working at this frontier feed off the discrimination involved in categorizing atrocities, while themselves being fed by the corporation that exploits them. We’d like to pay tribute to these shadowy workers whom we don’t know, yet who are responsible for the stability of the foundations of our digital societies.

“Cat-dog” aims to show the difficult condition of those who clean up our digital organizations. They are victims of the discrimination induced by the digital binarization of the perception of others, and earn their living by perpetuating the machine that enslaves them. This work describes the gigantism of this artificial monster, nourished of always more social categorization and exclusion, by the most precarious, who make the household for the “cash cows” that people are, in the service of the big corporations of the internet.

Social networks are home to the worst garbage that human beings are capable of. Modern slaves, digital cleaners spend their days categorizing obnoxious content on the web. Balancing morals, these moderators of content wander the fragile line between tolerance and censorship while being bombarded with rubbish.
Categorizing the best of the worst, from cats and dogs to cars and bikes, is now the fuel for artificial intelligence at the heart of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. And it’s not just these digital garbage collectors who contribute, all of us are swapping our understanding of the world, in the form of viewing time and discernment clicks, for free services and entertaining content, mediated by social platforms. These contents and services, mainly financed by advertising, are personalized by this artificial intelligence that we feed.
The world we contemplate then becomes circumscribed, no longer to our capacity to perceive it, but to that of producing it. Reflections of a sociality impoverished by virtuality, social networks become distorting mirrors of a narcissistic society whose nightmares are thrown in the trash by digital garbage collectors.
Cat-Dog is a tribute to these shadowworkers, a mischievous and selfless attempt to provide them with an entertaining break, a warm and human ray of sunshine reaching the depths of the Styx.