exhibition / exhibition program

unknown label, by nicolas gourault

9 May

to 17 Aug

free admission

galeria um


Unknown Label reveals the invisible people who help shape the way machines see the world. It all starts with a coincidence: in 2018, German car manufacturers, surprised by the advances made by Google and Tesla, invested a lot of money in research into autonomous vehicles. They collected a huge amount of images from car sensors, which needed to be processed. That same year, Venezuela was hit by an economic crisis that left thousands of workers unemployed. Many of them turned to online microwork platforms, where they joined people from Kenya and the Philippines in the task of annotating images that arrived in their thousands from Germany and the USA. This installation explores the everyday reality of these micro-workers from the Global South and investigates the power asymmetries and neo-colonialist exploitation involved in the human labour needed to train artificial intelligence systems.
Nicolas Gourault is an artist and film-maker based in Paris. He has a background in art and visual studies. His work is imbued with this dual background, navigating between open source online investigations and the critical use of new media as documentary tools. His films and video installations explore the power relations embedded in technologies and attempt to construct counter-narratives through the use of testimonies and the experimental creation of images. Gourault’s work has been shown at venues such as the Centre Pompidou and Ars Electronica, as well as film festivals such as Cinéma du Réel, Festival dei Popoli or IndieLisboa.

exhibition part of the index 2024 – art and technology biennial programme

work created in 2023 as part of an artistic residency at the werkleitz – centre for media art in berlin (germany)

european media art platform is a project co-funded by the european union



support portuguese republic – culture / directorate-general for the arts. rtcp – network of portuguese theatres and cinemas

support for internationalisation IF Export 2024 of the Institut Français, Paris, and the Mais França programme of the Institut Français de Portugal


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