Final Project: https://www.instagram.com/humansofuber_/

Artist’s Statement/Explanation:

For my creative project, I decided to create an Instagram page based of off the Humans of New York Instagram page. Over the course of a few weeks, I took twelve Uber trips and recorded my conversations with drivers, with their permission of course. I then screen shotted an image of my route on the Uber map in order to maintain the privacy of the drivers and their cars. Alongside the screenshots of my ride, I transcribed what I thought was the best section of our conversation for a quote for the caption. At first I had a bit of difficulty deciding what I wanted to do for my creative project as Uber and ride share applications are a rather unconventional form of digital media. Ultimately, I realized that I wanted my project to convey the human aspect of ride share applications. Whether it be via Instagram, Twitter, or even an application as individualized as Uber in which we literally interact with another living, breathing human being, digital media can often remove the very human component from our interactions. I wanted to model my Instagram page, which is another form of digital media I might add, after the Humans of New York Instagram page as it chronicles the very real stories of New Yorkers. I feel as though a large majority of people forget that Uber drivers are real people with their own families, problems and individualized experiences. As a result of this gamified process of work, or the digitization of tasks that used to be more personal, we often forget regular human decency when interacting with Uber drivers as they are simply doing their jobs. This process of interviewing Uber drivers has pleasantly surprised me; at first the process of interviewing strangers seemed daunting, but it ultimately became incredibly organic. Rather than rattling questions off of a predetermined list, the conversations began to flow organically as I learned more about my drivers’ experiences and lives. I think that my creative project is a thorough representation of how Uber drivers are more than just their new-age digital jobs, they are individuals outside of their photo and biography on your Uber application. 

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