Ilona Gaynor

2009 / Suspicion Breeds Confidence

the dream is here.

Suspicion Breeds Confidence, is a covertly filmed conversation held between two employees, whilst on their cigarette break working at Lehman Brothers Holdings in July 2008.

Imagine a world where companies monitor their profit margins by individually measuring and managing employee efficiency levels, through complex system of networked intimate sensors, analysed by machine CEO's. A radical infrastructure, where hiring, promotions and firing is more of a rational, economical process based on several, carefully monitored sets of data.

A new business infrastructure, where companies monitor their profit margins by individually measuring and managing employee efficiency levels, through a complex system of networked intimate sensors. All analyzed by machine CEO’s, removing all trace of human presence in order to reserve judgment. The definition of efficiency was derived from precise, measured units of oxygen (measuring the ability to cope with stress), heart pulse (predicting potential health problems, such as heart attacks leading to significant time off), individual, material surplus consumption (measuring micro spending levels, such as post-it notes and staples) and noise levels (listening for abnormally high noise levels, to detect suspected fowl play). The idea being that, these data sets are then used to formulate a strict statistical model profile of the 'perfect' company employee. Any individuals falling outside this model resulted in a consequential termination.

How would we cope in such an environment?

Would this breed and nurture drastic competitiveness, underhandedness and desperation, removing altogether traces of definable good work ethic and replacing it with bad? Would we embrace it, exploit it, even learn to like it?

To put the project into context the world itself was designed as a tool to communicate a vision, a cautionary tale about the advancement of networked technology and its role within society more specifically to sit within corporate world, and at a larger scale to reflect the economical crisis we are faced with. Technology; in it’s very nature will advance and what might have been at first glance a groundbreaking and economically viable use of these technologies results in a serious loss of what is considered to be basic human rights today.