Opportunity Cost

Bangladesh garment workers were hired on Upwork.com, (the ‘Uber’ for digital labor) an online labor platform where predominantly persons from developed countries hire labor from developing countries. The workers were paid their usual wage to video call into computers.

Workers and participants can see, hear and talk to each other via video call. Workers are free to do or not do anything. In addition, workers earn a bonus depending on the participants’ actions.


When participant sits down in front of a worker, that worker earns triple their usual wage (triple = $0.04/minute). During the sit, the video call is disabled, with the monitor displaying an on-screen counter of current earnings. When participant stands up, the worker stops earning and the video call is re-enabled. This repeats for the next participant and workers accumulate in earnings. After the show, each worker is paid their earnings.


‍Opportunity Cost occurs only in a group show.


Opportunity Cost spends $0.04/min to critique the act of seeing the rest of the works in the show.


Pre-existing ATM and chairs in venue.
Monitor view when chair is occupied and unoccupied.
A cash only bar was present and open in venue.
Before the opening, an unmarked white board was placed on the ground in front of the ATM. This photo was taken at end of show.
2019.  Participatory Performance.
Site-Responsive, Durational for open hours of show.
a group exhibit, chairs, money, platforms, computers, workers, Upwork.com, participants
New Blood XIII  Links Hall. Chicago, USA. photos by Ji Yang.