Precarity Lab: Technoprecarious (2020)

5 January 2021, dusan

“An analysis that traces the role of digital technology in multiplying precarity.

Technoprecarious advances a new analytic for tracing how precarity unfolds across disparate geographical sites and cultural practices in the digital age. Digital technologies—whether apps like Uber, built on flexible labor, or platforms like Airbnb that shift accountability to users—have assisted in consolidating the wealth and influence of a small number of players. These platforms have also exacerbated increasingly insecure conditions of work and life for racial, ethnic, and sexual minorities; women; indigenous people; migrants; and peoples in the global south. At the same time, precarity has become increasingly generalized, expanding to include even the creative class and digital producers themselves.

This collaboratively authored multigraph analyzes the role of digital technology in multiplying precarity. The authors use the term precarity to characterize those populations disproportionately affected by the forms of inequality and insecurity that digital technologies have generated despite the new affordances and possibilities they offer. The book maps a broad range of digital precarity—from the placement of Palestinian Internet cables to the manufacture of electronics by Navajo women and from the production and deployment of drones on the U.S.–Mexico border to the technocultural productions of Chinese makers. This project contributes to, and helps bridge, ongoing debates on precarity and digital networks in the fields of critical computing, postcolonial studies, visual culture, and information sciences.”

Publisher Goldsmiths Press, London, November 2020
Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 International License
ISBN 9781912685981, 1912685981
xi+113 pages

Authors
Publisher
WorldCat

HTML, multiple formats

Towards an Infrastructure of Humans (2019)

23 January 2020, dusan

“Humans can exist without an institution, yet no institution can function without humans. Institutions to a large degree are the people who work in them, but they are also more than just a group of individuals working together. What then does the institutional part of an institution contain? What allows a gathering of people to become more than the sum of all its parts? And in the age of neo-liberal self-exploitation, are institutions still operative in the interests of the individuals involved?”

“The texts and accounts here present the results of the international gathering called Humans of the Institution that took place in November 2017 in Amsterdam. The event aspired to confront the unspoken conditions of cultural employment and activity in a unique manner.”

Edited by Anne Szefer Karlsen with Vivian Ziherl and Steven ten Thije
Foreword by Charles Esche and Steven ten Thije
Publisher Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, 2019
Creative Commons BY-NC-SA License
ISBN 9789082902921
159 pages

Project website

PDF, PDF (9 MB)

Yates McKee: Strike Art: Contemporary Art and the Post-Occupy Condition (2016)

3 December 2019, dusan

“The collision of activism and contemporary art, from the Seattle protests to Occupy and beyond

What is the relation of art to the practice of radical politics today? Strike Art explores this question through the historical lens of Occupy, an event that had artists at its core. Precarious, indebted, and radicalized, artists redirected their creativity from servicing the artworld into an expanded field of organizing in order to construct of a new—if internally fraught—political imaginary set off against the common enemy of the 1%. In the process, they called the bluff of a contemporary art system torn between ideals of radical critique, on the one hand, and an increasing proximity to Wall Street on the other—oftentimes directly targeting major art institutions themselves as sites of action.

Tracking the work of groups including MTL, Not an Alternative, the Illuminator, the Rolling Jubilee, and G.U.L.F, Strike Art shows how Occupy ushered in a new era of artistically-oriented direct action that continues to ramify far beyond the initial act of occupation itself into ongoing struggles surrounding labor, debt, and climate justice, concluding with a consideration of the overlaps between such work and the aesthetic practices of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Art after Occupy, McKee suggests, contains great potentials of imagination and action for a renewed left project that are still only beginning to ripen, at once shaking up and taking flight from the art system as we know it.”

Publisher Verso Books, London and New York, 2016
ISBN 9781784781880, 1784781886
296 pages

Reviews: Marc James Léger (Marx & Philosophy, 2016), Philipp Kleinmichel (Radical Philosophy, 2018), Paloma Checa-Gismero (Field, 2016), John Ayscough (Visual Culture in Britain, 2017), Kristin Gecan (Chicago Review, 2016).
Discussion: Gregory Sholette, a.o. (e-flux supercommunity, 2016).
Book launch

Publisher
WorldCat

EPUB (6 MB)