Opportunities in the Margins

By Stephanie Bickford-Smith

Opportunities in the margins is a project where intimate access and mass surveillance are used as design tools to help marginalised workers create a potential secondary economy.

During two months in the winter I went undercover as a housekeeper in a hotel and a food delivery man in the city of London. Embedding myself secretly within these two systems and equipped with various covert documenting and collecting tools I attempted to find realistic, if not entirely legal, means for these workers to use their positions to gain informational and biological data to sell on either the white, grey or black markets. 

The resulting video and documents not only reflect on mass surveillance becoming an accepted and growing commodity, but also my personal concerns on the economic and emotional toll people entrapped on the fringes of society are subjected to.