dark content screenshot 01

Episodic video series, Web

Dark Content

Online Now


In their new work, Eva and Franco Mattes have explored the role and experiences of online ‘content moderators’ – an elusive labour force responsible for removing ‘offensive’ material from social media sites.

Dark Content is a video work to be released in four chapters, with Chapter One now online. The videos are only available to watch on the Darknet – for step-by-step instructions on how to access the Darknet, please see the trailer below:



More information about the project: 

At work in their cubicles and apartments in the Philippines, Arizona or Bulgaria, miles away from the anonymous companies that hire them, filtering workers are employed to soak up the worst of humanity in order to protect the rest of us.

Where do all the filtered images going after they disappear from the Internet? They may leak into the Darknet, but unfortunately they are also going to stick in the brains of an invisible army of moderators. Among offensive content that has been recently blacklisted – like porn, gore, racism and cyber bullying – are also gay kisses, Islamic preachers, breastfeeding mothers, Tibetan monks setting themselves on fire and, maybe even more surprising, Courbet’s Origin of the world.

For this new work Eva and Franco Mattes sought out several content moderators to discuss the most affecting videos and images they have encountered and the implications of removing such content. Even if they left the job long ago, most workers can still recall the video that made them quit.


Further details can be found on the Abandon Normal Devices website including this interview with the artists. The project is a co-production with The Influencers (ES).

The online launch of Dark Content coincides with Eva and Franco Mattes’ exhibition I Would Prefer Not to Include My Name at Essex Flowers (New York) 30 Oct – 6 Dec 2015

9 November - March 2016

Curated by Abandon Normal Devices


Eva and Franco Mattes