Bob Bicknell-Knight
Pickers, 2021
Single channel HD video
24 min 0 sec (looped)
Commissioned by The European Regional Development Fund, Urban Innovative Actions and Quote—Unquote.

Pickers is a new 24-minute CGI film concerning Amazon Fulfilment Centres, abusive workspaces and the 24/7 non-stop processes of twenty-first-century capitalism.

The work is an exploration of what happens within Amazon warehouses, both now and in the future, where Amazon workers load trolley's full of items that are packed onto trucks for next day delivery. The work, informed by conversations with current Amazon employees, examines how Amazon's human workers are treated within these warehouse environments, and imagines how the company will grow and change in the future as artificially intelligent machines become increasingly popular, slowly replacing their human workforce.

The film represents a 24-hour day/night cycle and revolves around a real-life Amazon warehouse in London, UK, that has been 3D modelled and animated. During the film delivery trucks are loaded, streetlamps are switched on and workers come and go. These elements are accompanied by a speculative script, read by different voice actors, that considers the automation of work and the reduction of workers’ rights in our hyper-capitalist world.

The animation utilises clay rendering, a method used by animators to quickly render scenes before adding textures to objects, enabling them to easily analyse the model and lighting. Clay rendering is rarely used and presented as the finished product, reflecting how Amazon as a company is a work in progress, and should not be permitted to operate in its current condition.

The work physically resides on a 3D printed USB drive resembling a human finger.

Best viewed with headphones.

Exhibited at Soft Agitators, curated by Gilles Neiens w/ Bob Bicknell-Knight, Zohar Fraiman, Lynn Klemmer, Sali Muller, Sarah Niecke, Julie Wagener. At Saarländische Galerie, Europäisches Kulturforum, Berlin, DE, 11th November - 18th December 2021.

Exhibited at Soft Agitators, curated by Gilles Neiens w/ Bob Bicknell-Knight, Zohar Fraiman, Lynn Klemmer, Sali Muller, Sarah Niecke, Julie Wagener. At Saarländische Galerie, Europäisches Kulturforum, Berlin, DE, 11th November - 18th December 2021.

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Exhibited at On Labor & Affect, curated by Quote—Unquote w/ Bob Bicknell-Knight, Michael Bucuzzo, Alle Dicu, Ioana Gheorghiu, Mel Ghidini and Brandon Labelle. At Mezanin (Palatul Universul), 23-25 Ion Brezoianu St., Bucharest, Romania, 29th October - 5th November 2021.

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Exhibited at On Labor & Affect, curated by Quote—Unquote w/ Bob Bicknell-Knight, Michael Bucuzzo, Alle Dicu, Ioana Gheorghiu, Mel Ghidini and Brandon Labelle. At Mezanin (Palatul Universul), 23-25 Ion Brezoianu St., Bucharest, Romania, 29th October - 5th November 2021.

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Exhibited at On Labor & Affect, curated by Quote—Unquote w/ Bob Bicknell-Knight, Michael Bucuzzo, Alle Dicu, Ioana Gheorghiu, Mel Ghidini and Brandon Labelle. At Mezanin (Palatul Universul), 23-25 Ion Brezoianu St., Bucharest, Romania, 29th October - 5th November 2021.

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Exhibited at Work Upside Down, curated by Time’s Up, Corina Bucea and Rarița Zbranca w/ Blajin, Cristina Vasilescu in collaboration with Quote—Unquote and Bob Bicknell-Knight, Ioana Păun & Flavia Giurgiu, Kali / Mihaela Drăgan, Larisa Crunțeanu, LARP Timișoara, Likely texts in unlikely places, MIN(D)ING, Mihai Păcurar, Orsolya Gál, Polina Kanis, Raluca Paraschiv and Time’s Up. At Casa Municipială de Cultură, Piața Unirii 24, Cluj-Napoca 400000, Romania, 1st October - 7th November 2021.

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