WeaverGirl Project


#emotional labour #gendered technology #interdisciplinary practice

The WeaverGirl Project is a long-term interdisciplinary performance project by _ao_ao_ing, focusing on emotional labor in the digital age. It manifests with diverse forms including happenings, performances, videos, weaved textiles, AI programs, online entities, workshops, social media campaigns. Through field research, it collects first-hand materials from emotional service workers and engages in interdisciplinary collaborations, diving deep into the subjects of emotional performance, labor and gendered technology. The project fabricated an emotional tech brand WeaverGirl™ as its main entity, using its official website weaver-girl.com and its social media as carrier and vehible for its actions.

In WeaverGirl Project, "performance" means a production tool for emotional laborer, a signal exchange system among wetwares, and also a powerful channel for artistic expression and real-life provokation. The ambiguity in emotional exchange is updating with the changes in technology and labor relations. The WeaverGirl Project traverses through the complex inner-terrain of the emotional service workers' psychology. In the future, The WeaverGirl Project also hopes to engage in more practices inside and outside of art, weaving back and forth in a recursive way.

So far, WeaverGirl™ has launched four Emotional AI Products that are able to share emotional stress for respectively four occupations that requires heavy emotional labor.

The first three WeaverGirl models

Consul-General’s Wife

2021.11 - 12

In 2021, _ao_ao_ing ensemble collaborated with Alice Chen, Madame Consul General of France, with the support of her initiative Project Terrace.
WeaverGirl Project: Consul General's Wife examines and dismantles the enigmatic and mysterious "Consul General's Wife" archetype right in the official residence of the Consulate General of France in Shanghai: a space full of strict emotional and behavioral protocols. After fieldworks and interviews with a community of consul-generals’ spouses in Shanghai, an "emotional enhancement ttech product" for diplomats' wives was released to special guests of the Residence.

20 - 21 November 2021 - Product Testing
As judges, the audience assessed the emotional performance of an anonymous girl after wearing the test product. She wore the test headset and began to received training from the product, while outputing emotional data through a real-time emotion recognition AI system.

4 - 5 December 2021 Launch Party
It was a high-end social event. CGW001 was launched with features designed to meet the needs of diplomats' wives. In front of a full house, Alice Chen became the first user of "The Weaver: Consul General's Wife". There CGW001 was successfully launched.

18 December 2021 Retrospective Exhibition

Master, Please Weave Your Maid


Another model M001 was made specially for maids in collaboration with former maid Meiyu Li. It came from the work WeaverGirl: Please Weave Your Maid, an exhibition and performance that happened on metaverse platform Cryptovoxels. When visitors logged on, they were guided into the WeaverGirl temple. Its walls are painted with ASCII-Art murals and console outputs, like the backend of a computer. Its stone tablet in the center is the portal to accessing the training program for the maid bot to collectively bring it closer to the maid character in each visitor’s fantasy. In Meiyu's durational performance, she livestreamed a 8-hour work day as a maid, in the same video frame as the maid bot program, completing the performance together.
Weaving X Performing Workshop
2019.10.05 - 2019.10.07

WeaverGirl (Performance Installation, Weaved Installation)
2020.01.06 - 2020.01.11

WeaverGirl: Consul-General's Wife
(Performance & Happening, Social Media Campaign, Exhibition)
First event: 2021.11.18 - 19
Second event: 2021.12.4 - 5
Closing exhibition: 2021.12.18

WeaverGirl: Master, Please Weave Your Maid
(Metaverse Exhibition, Durational Livestream Performance, Chatbot Installation)
2022.03.16 - 03.20


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