No Time to Lose: A Search for Work / Life Balance

Unpacking by notimetolose
July 23, 2008, 11:59 pm
Filed under: exhibition, installation, photos | Tags: , ,


Tobaron Waxman’s project, Block of Ice +1/60, represented the final stage of the exhibition, No Time to Lose. I was working in a completely different part of the world while the installation and performance took place. The team at Peacock were amazing! The amount of work they did to change over the show in such a short period of time is nothing short of phenomenal. And, while all of that was going on, Monika still found time to take a few snaps of the materials as they were being unpacked and prepared for installation. Here are a couple of them …

“Our latest Skive” by notimetolose
July 17, 2008, 11:59 pm
Filed under: photos | Tags: , ,


A related exhibition “Be a Happy Worker: Work-to-Rule!” by notimetolose
July 13, 2008, 6:26 pm
Filed under: artists, contemporary art, exhibition, ideas, photos | Tags: , , ,

Be a Happy Worker: Work-to-Rule!
g-mk | galerija miroslav kraljevic
Subiceva 29, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Phone: +38514592696 / Fax: +38514592183
Contact: /

June 26 – July 20, 2008

Zbynek Baladran | Tanja Dabo | REINIGUNGSGESELLSCHAFT & Miklos Erhardt | Igor Grubic | Sanja Ivekovic | Helmut & Johanna Kandl | Kristina Leko | Pavel Mrkus | Societe Realiste

Curators: Ivana Bago & Antonia Majaca / Non-Alligned CF

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Wikipedia describes work-to-rule as an industrial action in which employees do no more than the minimum required by the rules of a workplace. While still following safety and other regulations, working-to-rule is a deliberate slowdown in the production process as a form of protest. This procedure, also known as ‘white strike’, simply slows down production: an action less disruptive than a strike and less susceptible to disciplinary action as the elementary rules are being obeyed.

Along with alluding to a need for a general slowdown and the question of the existence of ‘surplus labour’, the exhibition title additionally derives from a possible misreading of the phrase. Today, in the matrix of advanced neo-liberal capitalism, the title could be read in the instructive mode as ‘work to dominate’ or ‘work to succeed’, referring to the models of subjectivity and flexibility characteristic of late capitalism.

The exhibition Be a Happy Worker: Work-to-Rule! considers different perspectives and concepts of work and labour, the ‘slowing down’ of work, the quality of work and life in past and present working conditions, the global division of labour and creative reflections on industrial and postindustrial labour. On the other hand, the exhibition touches upon the nostalgia for a time of belief in industrial modernization, in the light of the destinies of workers after the transformations and dissolution of the factories in East Europe. Furthermore, the exhibition presents works of artists from the wider region that deal with political and social aspects of the recent transformations in the time of wild capitalism in Eastern Europe and the glorification of the West as a heaven of entrepreneurial possibilities. The continually relevant issues of gender division of labour, the ‘invisibilty’ of women’s labour and the ever more complex relation betwee n labour and leisure are also addressed. Mapping different perspectives, artistic strategies and the heterogeneous ways they have dealt with this complex subject from the perspective of ‘New Europe’, Be a Happy Worker: Work-To-Rule! reflects the history of work, the aspects of the transformation of past working conditions and a wide range of issues regarding the immaterial labour that concerns us all today.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The exhibition ‘Be a Happy Worker: Work-to-Rule’ is part of the collaborative project Land of Human Rights by < rotor > association for contemporary art/ Graz, University of J.E. Purkyne/ Usti nad Labem, riesa efau | Motorenhalle/ Dresden, Trafo Gallery/ Budapest, Galerija Skuc/ Ljubljana, g – mk | galerija miroslav kraljevic/ Zagreb

Partner LOHR exhibition:

Land of Human Rights: What do you do for a living?

27 June-16 August + 1 September-13 September 2008

Location: < rotor > association for contemporary art, Graz (AT)

Artists: Jiri Cernicky, Katharina Gruzei, Helmut & Johanna Kandl, Eleonore de Montesquiou, Marija Mojca Pungercar, REINIGUNGSGESELLSCHAFT, Josef Schutzenhőfer, Artur Zmijewski

Curators: Anton Lederer & Margarethe Makovec

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


With the support of the Culture Programme of the European Union

The Program of Galerija Miroslav Kraljevic is supported by: City of Zagreb – City Office for Education, Culture and Sport, Ministry of Culture – Croatia, INA Ltd.

More NTTL Coverage by notimetolose
July 12, 2008, 6:10 pm
Filed under: artists, contemporary art, exhibition, media coverage | Tags: ,

Reporter on all that’s hip n’ happening, Sue Carter Flinn, has once again mentioned a NTTL-related project in her very cool column, “The Dope Show” featured in Halifax’s “The Coast”.

Check it out!

The Dope Show: Arts news by Sue Carter Flinn
Project Skive, July 04, 2008

Does this sound like you? Yeah, you!

“Are you one of the many people spending too much time at work? Eating lunch at your desk? Addicted to your Blackberry and not able to switch it off, even on holiday? Peacock Visual Arts‘ new exhibition No Time to Lose is about all of this, and more.”

This link was sent to me by Winnipeg curator extraordinaire, Milena Placentile, from her exhibition, No Time To Lose, at Peacock Visual Arts in Aberdeen. Abby Schoneboom’s Project Skive looks at the creative time-wasting efforts of British white-collared workers (Skiving is slang for all the fucking around you do at work). Read anonymous reports and add your own personal favourite skives on the website. As I reported a couple of weeks ago, Halifax artist Cathy Busby is also in the show.

New Poll Shows Strong American Support for a Paid Vacation Law by notimetolose
July 7, 2008, 7:48 pm
Filed under: activism, ideas | Tags: , , , ,

Reposted from Take Back Your Time’s recent email dated July 7, 2008


Dear TAKE BACK YOUR TIME supporter:

Instead of this month’s newsletter, I’ve got some exciting news! Our brand new vacation poll (a scientific survey of 1,002 Americans by Opinion Resarch Corporation) found that 69% of Americans support a paid vacation law. Only 27% are opposed. We have nearly 3-1 support for our paid vacation law campaign–that’s huge!

And our brand new Web site: is now live! On the site you’ll find arguments for a paid vacation law, 37 colorful and humorous posters that you can print and put up in your offices to draw people’s attention to the campaign or email to friends, the most pertinent results from the poll (every demographic of Americans supports a law!).

Below, in this email, you’ll find a press release that you can send to all your local media (please do!) and to friends letting them know about the poll and the new Web site. Call your local radio stations and tell them about the poll as well! We are already getting interest in this from as far away as Ireland. Use the poll results to encourage your Congresspeople to support legislation guaranteeing paid vacation time for all Americans.

Let me know what you think of our Web site. Email me at And please, if you can, contribute to this campaign–you’ll see how to do it on the site. We are really poised to make a difference, but our funds are dangerously low. We truly need your help. If you believe in this campaign, contribute now.

Read the press release and forward it wherever you can!

Thanks so much!

John de Graaf
Executive Director


JULY 7, 2008


CONTACT: John de Graaf; (206) 443-6747



As the nation celebrated July 4th, a new poll found that most Americans don’t have or don’t feel they can take time for “the Pursuit of Happiness,” and more than two-thirds support a law that would guarantee paid vacations for American workers.

The scientific telephone sample of 1,002 Americans was conducted by The Opinion Research Corporation, a leading professional pollster, during the week of June 23, 2008.

The poll found 69% of Americans saying they would support a paid vacation law, with the largest percentage of respondents favoring a law guaranteeing three weeks vacation or more. Take Back Your Time advocates a three-week paid vacation law. Americans under 35 (83%), African-Americans (89%), Hispanic-Americans (82%), and low-income Americans (82%) were the strongest supporters of such a law, as were residents of the Northeast (75%) and the South (72%). 75% of women and 63% of men support a paid vacation law. 74% of families with children support such a law. Every demographic showed majority support for a law. Overall, only 27% of those polled were opposed to a paid vacation law.


Americans were asked how many weeks of vacation are best to prevent “burnout.” 52% said they need three weeks or more and 82% said they needed at least two weeks.

Disturbingly though, the survey showed that among working Americans, 28% took no vacation time at all last year, half took a week or less, and two-thirds got less than two weeks off. The median time off for all workers was 8.2 days, far below the three weeks that most cited as the optimum to prevent burnout, much less actually relax and enjoy themselves.

A growing body of evidence suggests that burnout is just one of the negative consequences of too little vacation time. Studies have firmly established that men who don’t take vacations are 32% more likely to die of heart attacks and women are 50% more likely. Lack of vacation time doubles rates of depression for women. After vacations, workers gain an hour per night of quality sleep and their reaction times are 30-40% faster, improvements that last for several months.

“American work-life is out of balance and this poll shows people know it,” said Cecile Andrews, chair of the Take Back Your Time board. “The only difference between dinosaurs and American vacations is that dinosaurs are already extinct. We are losing the breaks we need to stay healthy, avoid stress and bond with our families. It’s certainly a shame that neither Presidential candidate has addressed this issue. Maybe this poll will get them to take notice.”


Take Back Your Time has launched a new Web site—( promoting the idea of a paid vacation law.

Mixing hard science and a lighthearted touch to make a very serious case, the site includes the latest research on the impacts of too little vacation time, as well as more than two dozen humorous posters that can be downloaded, printed and posted to call attention to the campaign and ways to get involved.

“The site is fun, just like vacations are,” said Joe Robinson, author of Work to Live, and a leader of the campaign. “The United States is the only wealthy country without a paid vacation law. We’re the capital of burnout and it’s costing all of us hundreds of billions of dollars a year. We can change that with a law guaranteeing vacations to workers. We need time to enjoy the fruits of our labor. Fun is not a four-letter word. But this would actually make businesses more productive too.”

“Vacations are so important for family bonding,” said William Doherty, professor of Family Social Science at the University of Minnesota. “Some of the strongest memories from childhood involve family vacations. And yet, far fewer families are taking them now.”


“Take Back Your Time’s medical team has discovered a new disease that has rapidly been spreading throughout the US in recent years,” said Executive Director John de Graaf. “Ever notice that people seem crankier, there’s lots of road rage, we’re all impatient? Do you feel like screaming at your computer to hurry up sometimes? Nerves frazzled by overwork and constant rushing lead to angry snarls. We call it ‘Irritable Growl Syndrome.’ It’s definitely hard on Americans’ health and there’s no pill to cure it. Our workers need a real ‘pause that refreshes,’ and the most promising is more vacation time. Time to unwind from the ever-increasing stresses of the workplace.”

Take Back Your Time believes that the lack of vacation time in the United States is a serious problem, as the new poll indicates. A law guaranteeing paid vacations would allow us to catch up to other nations (for example, every European worker gets a minimum of four weeks paid vacation). It would lead to higher hourly productivity and reduce the escalating cost of health care, by making all Americans healthier. It’s not rocket science; it’s common sense. Every other wealthy country in the world realizes that.

Take Back Your Time can provide key experts for your radio programs or print stories. Just contact John de Graaf at: or (206) 443-6747 or Joe Robinson: Poll results (by July 3) at:

Utah is going to a 4-day workweek to save energy by notimetolose
July 5, 2008, 12:23 pm
Filed under: environmentalism, ideas, news articles | Tags: , , , ,

An interesting article submitted by Monika outlining the pros and cons of a four day work week, recently adopted by the US state of Utah.


Utah is going to a 4-day workweek to save energy
By MIKE STARK, Associated Press Writer
Thursday, July 3, 2008 (AP)

(07-03) 11:15 PDT Salt Lake City (AP) —

Starting next month, it will be “TGIT” for Utah state employees. As in: “Thank God It’s Thursday.”

In a yearlong experiment aimed at reducing the state’s energy costs and commuters’ gasoline expenses, Utah is about to become the first state to switch to a four-day workweek for thousands of government employees. They will put in 10-hour days, Monday through Thursday, and have Fridays off, freeing them to golf, shop, spend time with the kids or do anything else that strikes their fancy. They will get paid the same as before.

“One of the jokes is that one of the biggest benefits will be for golf courses,” said Ryan Walker, 49, an information technology director. He said he is looking forward to tackling items on his long-neglected “honey-do” list (As in: “Honey, do this” and “Honey, do that”); camping; and traveling more around the state. The order issued by Republican Gov. Jon Huntsman will affect about 17,000 out of 24,000 executive-branch employees. It will not cover state police officers, prison guards or employees of the courts or Utah’s public universities. Also, state-run liquor stores will stay open on Fridays.

The compressed workweek in Utah — whose motto is “Industry” and whose official symbol is the beehive, representing thrift and perseverance — could prove inconvenient to those who need to use state services and find certain offices closed on Fridays.

Also, some parents may have to rearrange their child care to accommodate their longer hours, and bus and commuter train schedules might have to be adjusted. But many are excited about the idea.

“I’m thrilled,” said Rose Kenworthy, 58, an executive secretary at the Utah Department of Environmental Quality. “Now I can do anything I want. I can have lunch with my friends, spend time with my grandchildren or just chill out.”

Sheldon Wood, 48, who writes property tax software, plans on using his three-day weekends to go into the mountains to hike and bike with his wife, also a state employee.

Turning off the lights, the heat and the air conditioning on Fridays in 1,000 of 3,000 government buildings will save about $3 million a year out of a state budget of $11 billion, according to the governor’s spokeswoman, Lisa Roskelley. The state will also save on gasoline used by official vehicles, but authorities have not figured out how much.

The Department of Environmental Quality estimated employees in six buildings alone will save themselves more than $300,000 spent on gas to commute to work.

The four-day workweek could also be good for the environment.

“We feel like we can reduce the CO2 or the ozone by around over 3,000 metric tons, as well as have an impact on our air pollution,” said Kim Hood, executive director of the Department of Administrative Services.

In addition, the governor said the new schedule could help recruit younger workers who prefer a three-day weekend.

State officials will evaluate the program after a year and decide whether to extend it.

Because of the downturn in the economy and $4-a-gallon gasoline, many states are looking at cost-saving measures, including expanded telecommuting, compressed workweeks and more flexible schedules.

“Everyone’s going to keep a close eye on it and see what happens in Utah and whether they can demonstrate employee effectiveness and the energy savings, too,” said Leslie Scott, executive director of the National Association of State Personnel Executives, based in Lexington, Ky. Many Utah state offices will extend their hours and stay open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. so people can use government services before or after work.

And residents are being encouraged to use the Internet for hundreds of ordinary services, such as automobile registration renewals.

As for such things as hazardous spills and calls from Medicaid recipients who need approval for medical procedures, “certainly there are people
who are on call 24-7 now, and those people will continue to be on call 24-7,” the governor’s spokeswoman said.

Natalie Smith, 38, who works on a state arthritis program, supports the governor’s push to make government more environmentally friendly, but said the change will mean juggling schedules with her husband to take care of their two young children.

“We’re not exactly sure how we’re going to do it,” she said. But she added that it will be nice to have Fridays to visit the library or the zoo or
run errands.

Debra McBride, a Medicaid specialist who has been working four 10-hour shifts a week for about 20 years, said it is harder to make doctor’s appointments and do other errands Monday through Thursday, and working longer hours can be rough.

“After working 10 hours in a day,” she said, “I don’t do anything after I get home.”

The goods from Amy Alexander’s street performances by uebergeek
July 1, 2008, 2:27 pm
Filed under: Aberdeen, exhibition, updates | Tags: , , ,

Howdy all, Amy here… reporting from beautiful not-quite-downtown San Diego, Calif. But just a week and a half ago, on Friday June 20th, I was in beautiful downtown-and-otherwise Aberdeen, as the geek-on-the-street office worker/VJ performance artist. With the help of the Peacock crew, I traveled the streets of Aberdeen in a mobile office VW van, setting up desk chair, computer monitor, and funny gadgets, to do my work-themed psychedelic text visuals at various locations on the streets of Aberdeen. It was a lot of fun, and I was especially impressed with those Aberdeenites who had the nerve to come up to a woman in a silver jacket with a keyboard gaffer taped to her body and a droned-out look on her face and ask, “What are you doing?”

Larger images can be found in my flickr photostream.

Here are some videos. The onscreen visuals look better in YouTube’s high quality setting –

but I can’t get that embedded into WordPress. But you could go to YouTube directly and choose “480p” below the video here and here.