Air cushions, as they are being delivered as part of Amazon orders or other online retailers, are generally being inflated at the very moments the order is being fulfilled with the ambient room air from the warehouse. Each shipping box thus carries with it a “sample” of the work situation and environment, which is generally hidden to us (online) consumers.
In his work, Gottfried Haider reconstructs this situation quasi forensically through means of air analysis, performed by a scientific lab, which identifies the specific organic compounds in samples received from different warehouses. Most of those compounds are classified as irritants, health or environmental hazards.
In each case, a synthetic resin cast permanently preserves a cushion containing a sample of air – and thus an “echo of labor”. The enclosed results of the air analysis allow conclusions about the specific conditions in the Fulfillment Centers at the time of shipment.
The work exist as a series for a number of Amazon locations in the western United States. A single-channel video (jointly with Matthew Doyle) is re-tracing the path of the shipped air.