Review: It’s Raining Pennies on Amazon in “I Agree to the Terms.”

Because that’s the idea of the builders’ association – written by James Gibbs, one of its “key collaborators”, and directed by Marianne Weems, its founder – the genre bleed is not unexpected. Builders’ previous works, including “Alladeen” (a multimedia piece about call centers in Bangalore) and “Elements of Oz” (a riff on the MGM film musical with smartphone filters pointed at you on stage), often delight in novel technology combinations and storytelling.

However, when I saw “I agree to the terms” on Saturday, the novelty caused problems. The 45-minute piece was delayed by 35 minutes, which was vaguely described as “back-end issues”.

Once the difficulties were resolved, “I Agree to the Terms” went smoothly, if not entirely convincingly. In Part One, set in the dawn of the Internet, recitations from these optimistic manifestos are interspersed with brief recreations of bulletin board testimonies about sexism and addiction. The third part, a glimpse into an online future that includes Metaverse avatars, virtual reality, and a cyberspace bazaar selling human hearts for NFTs, seems only superficial.

Only in between do we learn something new when our guides Moe Angelos and David Pence introduce us to the so-called MTurk world. We learn that several hundred thousand workers work on this platform, perform simple online tasks for penniessometimes as a side hustle and sometimes as the sole source of income.

Half-planned interviews with four real Turks personalize the information. Florida-based Adah walks us through the MTurk dashboard, which lists HITs (Human Intelligence Tasks) and how much they pay. Michelle, a Bronx-based actress, performs HITs on the subway and makes time that would otherwise be wasted. Noel, who is paraplegic, is now able to work from home in New Mexico — as is Sibyl, from Alabama, who tells us she became a Turk when her husband’s death left her with $35 and no source of income.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/31/theater/i-agree-to-the-terms-review.html Review: It’s Raining Pennies on Amazon in “I Agree to the Terms.”

Isaiah Colbert

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