Leigh Claire La Berge: Wages Against Artwork: Decommodified Labor and the Claims of Socially Engaged Art (2019)

7 February 2021, dusan

“The last twenty years have seen a rise in the production, circulation, and criticism of new forms of socially engaged art aimed at achieving social justice and economic equality. In Wages Against Artwork Leigh Claire La Berge shows how socially engaged art responds to and critiques what she calls decommodified labor—the slow diminishment of wages alongside an increase in the demands of work. Outlining the ways in which socially engaged artists relate to work, labor, and wages, La Berge examines how artists and organizers create institutions to address their own and others’ financial precarity; why the increasing role of animals and children in contemporary art points to the turn away from paid labor; and how the expansion of MFA programs and student debt helps create the conditions for decommodified labor. In showing how socially engaged art operates within and against the need to be paid for work, La Berge offers a new theorization of the relationship between art and contemporary capitalism.”

Publisher Duke University Press, Durham, NC, August 2019
ISBN 1478004231, 9781478004233
xiii+261 pages

Review: Noni Brynjolson (Field, 2020).

Interviews with author: Andreas Petrossiants (e-flux, 2018, podcast), Wen Zhuang (LA Review of Books, 2020), Andreas Petrossiants (Brooklyn Rail, 2020), Pierre d’Alancaisez (New Books Network, 2021, podcast).

Publisher
WorldCat

PDF (11 MB)
Internet Archive (multiple formats)

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)