Dejan Markovic’s immersive and relational installations consistently blend artistic, scientific and industrial modes of production. Using the media of video, photography and drawing, this work explores the intermediate results of his artistic research on the tech industry and its current socio-political implications.
A comprehensive research project, “Aptiv Syndrome” investigates the production conditions of the infrastructure necessary for digital capitalism. The starting point is a recent Serbian state initiative that promotes cheap labor with the aim of attracting new tech industry production sites. Global corporations quickly moved in, with a large number of branches springing up in the southeastern part of the country – especially the automotive, and electrical engineering industries. It is mostly women who are employed here in the production of semiconductors and microchips, as well as electrification and data connectivity. The project’s title, Aptiv Syndrome, refers to observations made by a local orthopedic surgeon, who noted a range of symptoms that appeared in female workers at the US company with headquarter in Dublin, “Aptiv,” when their work shift was increased to 12 hours. These included thumb and wrist injuries, swelling, sciatic pain, and spondylosis. By shedding light on the structural and psychophysical exploitation of women at locations away from the centers of the global north, the project deals with the relentless production conditions found in the contemporary tech industry.