Exercises in Passivity

The newest exhibit at the University of Idaho’s Prichard Art Gallery is a timely, and even eerie, examination of humans’ role in the age of machines. Exercises in Passivity by Seattle artist James Coupe explores the “shifting divide between human and computer tasks, and the consequent effects on what it means to be a human today.” Specifically, Coupe’s work homes in on the gig economy and the menial tasks performed by “micro-laborers” for Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, a remote crowdsourcing tool that pays workers mere cents for completing tasks that computers can’t accomplish (yet). Perhaps one of the most visually and philosophically striking elements is a large metal cage, titled “I am Not a Robot,” based on an Amazon patent to protect human workers from robots. The Prichard is open for in-person viewing with social distancing and face-covering requirements.

Through Dec. 31; open Tue-Fri from noon-6 pm, Sat from 9 am-1 pm • Free • Prichard Art Gallery • 414 S. Main St., Moscow • prichardart.org • 208-885-3586

— Chey Scott

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