Andrew Norman Wilson
Wednesday, 15 December 2010
Work from Virtual Assistance.
Virtual Assistane will be showing at Extra Extra‘s new space @ 1524 Frankford Ave in Philadelphia starting January 7th at 6:00.
“Andrew Norman Wilson and Akhil C.
The Virtual Assistance project began with research geared towards unpacking the relational system of Get Friday, a virtual personal assistant service based in Bangalore, India. Get Friday typically provides remote executive support, where a largely American client base is assigned a “virtual” personal assistant. I am a part of that client base, paying monthly fees for a primary assistant who works out of the Get Friday office in India. My “assistant” is a 25-year-old male Bangalore resident named Akhil. In paying for our relationship I am not attempting to lighten my work load, but rather to attempt collaborative projects and even reversals of the normative outsourcing flow under a corporate contract arranged for one-way command. Using the service has been a method of engaging with, understanding, and reacting to an economy in order to learn, with the help of Akhil, how to peel back the corporate veneer, revealing limitations, histories, biographies, networks, power, desire, and more.
From the Get Friday website :
Get Friday [is] working round the clock 24/7, now catering to busy individuals and small businesses in 30 odd countries across different time zones. It has managed to take global outsourcing which was previously meant only for Fortune 500 businesses, within the reach of ordinary people – an individual, an entrepreneur or a small business owner. It takes pride in serving customers from diverse backgrounds. Get Friday is also the pioneer in bringing the idea of ‘Get the Personal touch of an assistant along with access to a pool of expertise’ into the market that makes virtual assistance dependable and so scalable. [Get Friday] is today a full fledged Life Outsourcing Company.
Personal outsourcing initially came to my attention through the writings of proponents Thomas Friedman and Tim Ferris as a problematic method to shorten the typical American work week—to slough off excess labor onto globally integrated residents of developing countries. Global outsourcing tends to produce telematic relationships – telematic in the sense of a remote control over another’s labor, the manipulation of dependence. If power is defined as the ability to manipulate resources across space and time, to what extent can authority in my relationship with Akhil and Get Friday be re-distributed amongst a service where the normative use is one-way command? How can this be reversed towards mutual assistance and collaboration? Can my relationship with Akhil become a device for altering the work conditions of Get Friday? How personal and creative can this relationship become?” – Andrew Norman Wilson