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


WORK, WORK, WORK – a series of seminars on Art and Labour at Iaspis by notimetolose

This looks great and I’m disappointed I’ll be missing it as I was in Stockholm in October and will be returning in January…

Mladen Stilinović, "Chinese Business," 2009 (detail). Collage.*

The seminar series at Iaspis discusses the image of work, the worker and the workplace in relation to diverse strategies within contemporary art. What roles are played by spatial organisation and activism? What concepts are the descriptions of artistic production and labour framed by? What ideologies are involved in the production of the artistic subject? Is the artist a role model for the contemporary “post-fordian” worker—flexible, creative, adaptable and cheap—a creative entrepreneur within an advanced service economy?

The first seminar treats contemporary and historical images of labour, and reflects on what type of “worker” the artist could be. On the Conditions of Production brings up the organisation of work within the art world. The third seminar discusses what role art can play—politically and socially—in relation to the public realm and spatiality. Artists, curators, activists, architects and researchers are contributing to the seminars.

The program is curated by Michele Masucci (artist), Annika Enqvist, Cecilia Widenheim and Jonatan Habib Engqvist (Iaspis). For further information http://www.iaspis.se

Seminar#1: Representations of Labour
20 November 10 am – 6 pm

What is the image of work? How and by whom has this image been produced? What are the means of production involved in artistic representations of workers, workers movements and the workplace? What are the theoretical and practical challenges in these representations? How is the role of the artist presented and what kind of “worker” is the artist? The seminar addresses what work is and has been through experiences of work and questions concerning migration, economy, class and technology.

Participants include: Annika Eriksson (artist, Berlin), Kirsten Forkert (artist/researcher, London), Ingela Johansson (artist, London), Stefan Jonsson (writer, Stockholm), Maria Lind (curator, Stockholm), Sarat Maharaj (writer, London/Malmö), Pratchaya Phinthong (artist, Bangkok), Joanna Sokolowska (curator, Lodz), Nina Svensson (artist, Stockholm)

Seminar#2: On the Conditions of Production
27 November 2 pm – 6 pm
28 November 10 am – 5 pm

A two day workshop hosted by a research group initiated by BAC (Baltic Art Center) in Visby. What are the general terms of production in society at large? How does economy, cultural politics and media relate to art? What does alienation imply in an increasingly socially oriented production process? What is the distribution of labour within the art world; what are the pros and cons of today’s system? Could one imagine an open working process, independent from predefined expectations? How can one organise a production-based residency today? The Open Call for Contributions aims at opening the ongoing research process and add to the discussion. In order to contribute and participate, please register by email to ontheconditionsofproduction@gmail.com

Participants include: Kajsa Dahlberg (artist, Berlin), Kim Einarsson (director Konsthall C, Stockholm/Berlin), Mattìn (artist, Berlin), Michele Masucci (artist, Stockholm), Lisa Rosendahl (director BAC, Visby/Berlin), Fredrik Svensk (writer and critic, Göteborg), Alexei Penzin (philosopher, Moscow) and contributing practitioners.

Seminar#3: Art for Social and Spatial Change
3 December, 5 – 9 pm
4 December, 10.30 am – 5.30 pm

Two days revolving around the question of what it means to take action today. The conversations include intersectional perspectives on labour and the so-called creative industry. What are our possibilities to act within an artistic practice in social, spatial and political change? In what way are conflicts concerning work expressed in the workspace and in society? How is public space staged in the private? How can emancipatory political projects such as the feminist and queer movements separate themselves from an increasing commodification of political and social subjects? Is it possible to imagine a “movement” in the sense of a collective process of the transformation of reality today?

Participants include: Lars Bang Larsen (writer and curator, Barcelona), Franco Berardi (researcher, Bolongna), Ana Betancour (professor architecture, Göteborg), Catharina Gabrielsson (architect and reseacher, Stockholm), Helena Mattsson (ass. professor and architect, Stockholm), Raqs Media Collective (artists and activists, New Dehli), Nina Power (researcher, Roehampton) and Judith Revel (philosopher, Paris) among others.

On display, “Chinese Business” by Mladen Stilinović (Iaspis, 2009)

The series takes place at Iaspis in relation to the exhibition Image at Work produced
by XpoSeptember in collaboration with Index, The Romanian Culture Institute and Moderna Museet.

Iaspis, Swedish Arts Grants Committee
Maria skolgata 83, 2nd floor
Stockholm, Sweden
http://www.iaspis



Time/Bank by notimetolose

e-flux is pleased to launch Time/Bank: a platform initiated by Julieta Aranda & Anton Vidokle, where groups and individuals can pool and trade time and skills, bypassing money as a measure of value. Time/Bank is based on the premise that everyone in the field of culture has something to contribute and that it is possible to develop and sustain an alternative economy by connection existing needs with unacknowledged resources.


http://www.e-flux.com/timebank

The origins of time-based currency can be traced both to the American anarchist Josiah Warren, who ran the Cincinnati Time Store from 1827 until 1830, and to the British industrialist and philanthropist Robert Owen, who founded the utopian “New Harmony” community which banned money. The first successful contemporary time bank was started in 1991 by Paul Glover in Ithaca, New York. Following his idea, people began to exchange time, which led to the creation of a time-based currency—the “Ithaca Hours,” which even local businesses began to accept, and which still flourishes. Time banking and service exchange have since developed into a full-fledged movement, usually centered around local communities.

Time/Bank at e-flux is modeled on existing time banks. Every Time/Bank transaction will allow individuals to request, offer, and pay for services in “Hour Notes.” When a task is performed, the credit hours earned may be saved and used at a later date, given to another person, or contributed towards developing larger communal projects. For example, if you happen to be in Beijing or Hamburg and need someone to help you shop for materials or translate a press release, you would be able to draw on resources from Time/Bank without exchanging any money.

Through Time/Bank, we hope to create an immaterial currency and a parallel micro-economy for the cultural community, one that is not geographically bound, and that will create a sense of worth for many of the exchanges that already take place within the art field—particularly those that do not produce commodities and often escape the structures that validate only certain forms of exchange as significant or profitable.

To open a time bank account, please register at www.e-flux.com/timebank/user/register.



Latest links by notimetolose

Since concern about work/life balance — rather the growing lack of it! — seems to have only grown since NTTL was presented at Peacock Visual Arts in 2008, I’ve decided to continue posting links and other information here as part of an ongoing commitment to this project.

Here are a few items that have come up recently, that I’d like to add…

1) Another exhibition

Workers Leaving the Workplace exhibition curated by Joanna Sokolowska– Muzeum Sztuki in Lodz – 06.07 – 05.09.2010

The point of departure for the exhibition are contemporary changes of labour and production referred to by researches as „post-fordism” and connected with the development of the global information society and economy based on services and knowledge. This model of economy has extended the traditional borders of productivity by a complex and diverse set of social, intellectual, emotional and communicative processes, thus leading to engagement of workers` and consumers` subjectivity into cycles of production and reproduction of capital beyond fixed hierarchies and categories. Labour viewed from this perspective becomes biopolitics: management of life, creating its new forms. Productivity enters areas it used to be separated from: these of free time, entertainment, aesthetic experiences, social involvement, political action and housework. The requirements of constant efficiency, self-education and flexibility in adjusting to the constantly changing conditions also known today as self-improvement have caused us not to cease producing capital even after leaving our workplace.

The exhibition will debate three main intertwining themes: industrial labour, broadened and hybrid character of contemporary productivity, an artist‘s work and economy. The works focused on industry or its remnants will examine labour processes connected to the factory incorporated into immaterial flows of meaning, that determine in fact entire production cycles. The artists who position labour within the wide field of social and generic activities will particularly concentrate on an ambivalent, flexible and elusive dimension of work today, which often makes the worker function on the verge between self-realization and (self)exploitation. To what extent are the artistic practices – operating with and reprocessing after all images and meanings – reliant on the current transformations of capitalism? What kind of economies might be conceived by the artists, what is their potential to break away from the dominant modes of production?

In relation to the exhibition two new works are being prepared: Janek Simon’s project at Alaba International Market in Nigeria and “The History of the Bomb” by Roman Dziadkiewicz

The Workers Leaving the Workplace project further develops some questions raised by the exhibition Arbeiter verlassen die Arbeitsstätte at the Galerie für Zeitgenőssische Kunst in Leipzig in 2009.

Artists: Joseph Beuys, Rafał Bujnowski, Roman Dziadkiewicz, Miklós Erhardt, Harun Farocki, Aleksandar Batista Ilić (in collaboration with Ivana Keser and Tomislave Gotovac) Kristina Inčiūraitė, Piotr Jaros, Ali Kazma, Jean-Luc Moulène, Frédéric Moser & Philippe Schwinger, Peter Piller, Martha Rosler, Mika Rottenberg, Janek Simon, Škart, Mladen Stilinović, Mona Vătămanu & Florin, Tudor, Ingo Vetter, Haegue Yang, Artur Żmijewski

For more information, contact: Joanna Sokolowska — j.sokolowska@msl.org.pl — or visit http://www.msl.org.pl/


2) Creepy news that is not about being flexible but rather about justifying cuts to social security

“British should set their own retirement age”, The Times (UK) via eurotopics

The British government plans to prevent employers from retiring employees aged 65 who want to go on working. The daily The Times is delighted: “In earlier decades, when employment was dominated by manufacturing, workers were a drag on productivity as they became physically weaker. But in an economy characterised by the provision of services and the application of knowledge, older workers contribute far more. A default retirement age is neither a boon to them nor a way of improving the productivity of the workforce. On the contrary, it adds to one burden that an ageing society does impose, namely the expanding costs of pension provision. The proposal to abolish the DRA would ameliorate that problem by its symbolism. In indicating that older workers have an important contribution to the world of work, the Government may persuade many of them to stay within it. They will pay taxes as well as draw pensions.” (30/07/2010)

3) Omega Interventions: Burnout-Performance

For more info, visit: http://www.rebelart.net/diary/omega-interventions-burnout-performance/005820/

4) They don’t because they can’t…

Canadians not using their vacation time
Talbot Boggs, The Canadian Press
(Special) – Canadians aren’t getting enough – vacations that is.

“A new Harris/Decima poll has found that although Canadian workers have an average of 19.68 days a year off, almost one quarter don’t use all their vacation time and give back an average of 2.17 days.

The most common reasons Canadians give for not using their full vacation time include not scheduling their vacation well enough in advance, they are too busy to get away or their significant others are not able to get away from their jobs.”

Read more: http://finance.sympatico.ca/home/canadians_not_using_their_vacation_time_/125050dd



It’s finally here! by notimetolose
April 12, 2010, 4:37 pm
Filed under: artists, contemporary art, publication | Tags: , , , , ,

Our publication, No Time to Lose: A Search for Work/Life Balance, has finally arrived!


Staff at PVA report that it looks great! My copy should be reaching me by mail in a few weeks.

Information about how to order your very own copy coming soon!!



Every day the same dream by Molleindustria, by notimetolose

Every day the same dream — you are late for work


A short existential game about alienation and refusal of labour. Or, if you prefer, a playable music video. Created by Molleindustria, an entity that aims to reappropriate video games as a popular form of mass communication. Their objective is to investigate the persuasive potentials of the medium by subverting mainstream video gaming clichè (and possibly have fun in the process).

Check it out here: http://www.molleindustria.org/everydaythesamedream/everydaythesamedream.html



/unvermittelt [ … for a concept of labour beyond overwork and lack of work] by notimetolose

NGBK BERLIN
13 December 2008 – 1 February 2009
Opening: 12 December, 19 h

/unvermittelt
/unvermittelt

… for a concept of labour beyond overwork and lack of work

Participants: Absageagentur, bankleer, Bildwechsel, chto delat, Chor der Tätigen , city mine(d), Die Heilige Kirche der letzten drei Arbeitstage, G-bliss productions, Sascha Göttling, Institut für Primär-energieforschung , Kiez ->To Go, m7red , Karin Michalski / Renate Lorenz, Netzwerk Grund-einkommen, Private Emission Trade, Sabotage-agentur, unhaltbar/leere Versprechungen, UNWETTER, Malte Wilms, Zene na delu – und die Projektgruppe „/unvermittelt“ der NGBK: Danijela Cenan, Uli Ertl, Frauke Hehl, Rut Waldeyer und Nadine Wothe

About 50 activists, initiatives, artists, theorists and opinion leaders from throughout the world have been invited to redefine the concepts of work and of being active under the motto “practice, method, scope“. The project began in January 2008 with a series of lectures and workshops. Since August, a number of interventions have taken place in Berlin public space. From 13 December, the participants will be showing what they understand by a collaborative and mutually supportive space to think, explore the scope of possibilities and act, in the exhibition space at NGBK.

The exhibition presents both the processes involved – workshops, campaigns, radio and film productions, artists’ actions and political interventions in urban space, as well as the results – films, posters, songs and other acoustic works, sculptures and documentary material.

/unvermittelt will be accompanied by a publication in German. ISBN: 978-3-938515-21-1.

At the evening opening at NGBK the Chor der Tätigen will be singing pop-songs on the topic of work together with “Judiths Krise”.

/unvermittelt is a project of the New Society for Visual Arts, its patron is Berlin’s Senator for Integration, Labour and Social Issues Dr. Knake-Werner.

Catalogue ISBN: 978-3-938515-21-1
www.unvermittelt.net

http://ngbk.de/site/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=117:unvermittelt&catid=11:exhibitions&Itemid=35



Onthaasting: About Spare Time and Slower Worlds by notimetolose
November 16, 2008, 12:25 pm
Filed under: artists, contemporary art, curating, exhibition | Tags: , , ,

Onthaasting: About Spare Time and Slower Worlds
Curated by Niels Van Tomme and Jan Van Woensel

Onthaasting is a mental diversion through the use of recreation as an “escape” from the perceived unpleasant aspects of daily life. It takes place on the outskirts of contemporary life: on mountaintops, in wide-open plains, in churches, in landscapes, in gardens … but most of all in the mind. The exhibition presents Belgian contemporary video artists within this conceptual framework.

Artists: Guillaume Bijl, Jacques Charlier, Cel Crabeels, De Brassers, Messieurs Delmotte, Gery De Smet, Harald Thys & Jos De Gruyter.

November 11 – December 21, 2008

American University Museum
Katzen Arts Center
4400 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC 20016

http://www.american.edu/cas/katzen/museum/2008nov_onthaasting.cfm

OPENING RECEPTION: Saturday November 22, 2008, 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

LECTURES:

Saturday November 22, 2008, 4:00 PM
Onthaasting – The Exhibition as a State of Mind
Co-curator Niels Van Tomme will explain the concept of the exhibition. Through wide-ranging references, Van Tomme plans to merge the national with the personal, the theoretical with the anecdotal.

Saturday December 20, 2008 4:00 PM
Belgians on Holiday
Co-curator Jan Van Woensel will explore the peculiar behavior of Belgians during their vacation at the beach. The lecture takes the 1996 surreal cult movie ‘Camping Cosmos’ as a key example.

Exhibition and all events free and open to the public.



A few installation shots of “Block of Ice +1/60” by notimetolose

I think everyone has waited long enough for installation photos from Tobaron Waxman’s performance, Block of Ice +1/60, a new media performance-based installation that took place at Peacock Visual Arts as part of No Time to Lose. Thanks for your patience =-).

The press release and images follow…

BLOCK OF ICE + 1/60

LIVE ART PERFORMANCE AND MULTIMEDIA INSTALLATION BY TOBARON WAXMAN

PEACOCK VISUAL ARTS
22-26 July
Daily 9.30am – 5.30pm
Admission free

Can you work even while you are asleep? Artist Tobaron Waxman proves with Block of Ice + 1/60, that he can. His live art performance connecting labour and water ecology is the final part of ‘No Time to Lose’, an exhibition exploring the theme of ‘overwork’.

Waxman’s brain functions like that of a shift worker, i.e. he sleeps during the day and works during the night. The impressive installation Block of Ice + 1/60 involves the artist sleeping in a large hammock suspended from the gallery ceiling, next to a heavy 200 pounds block of ice hanging from the ceiling as well…

While the artist sleeps, biofeedback from his brainwaves are monitored in a process allowing him to pull images from the internet. The images are subsequently projected onto a block of ice as it melts over the course of the week.

Passing through a filtration system the ice melts into bottles while, at the same time, screen captures of the projection are printed onto labels. Upon waking at night, the artist begins his ‘working day’ by applying the labels to each bottle thus generating an artist’s multiple. The bottles are a unique edition for sale, with proceeds going to not-for-profits concerned with labour and hydrology.

Block of Ice +1/60 reveals the boundaries between social and personal experiences of ‘schedule’ and the notion of 9 to 5 as the minimum “respectable” work hours. It’s an image juxtaposing the ecology of work opposite the fragile balance of the water table.

Remember, larger versions of these images are available at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/notimetolose/



A hammock, but not enough me-time for artist by notimetolose

This great review was published in The Times on Tuesday, July 22, 2008.

Visit the link above to view this article online; the text is re-posted below in case the article is only available temporarily.

A hammock, but not enough me-time for artist
Mike Wade, The Times, July 22, 2008

A man lies sleeping in a hammock alongside a vast block of ice, whose meltwater is slowly draining into empty whisky bottles. By night, he awakes and spends all his time making labels for the bottles, using images which have been generated on a computer by signals from his brain.

For enthusiasts, Tobaron Waxman’s creation at the Peacock Visual Arts gallery in Aberdeen is an eloquent protest against the dominance of work in our lives, as it encroaches remorsely into our “me-time”. For those of a more sceptical bent, it is just another example of what happens when you let a conceptual artist off the leash.

Mr Waxman, an “inter-disciplinary time-based artist” from Toronto in Canada, appeared modest about his creation, refusing to pose in his hammock for photographers who had arrived to record his latest work. However, no one could dispute that he has applied the full force of his mind to Block of Ice + 1/60.

Seeking to demonstrate how the tyranny of labour intrudes into every second of our lives, over the next four days Mr Waxman will attach electrodes to his head before he drifts off to sleep. These will measure his alpha wave activity – electromagnetic oscillations inside his head – while he is unconscious, creating a form of biofeedback.

The data in turn will be transformed by specialised software package and will be used to power a pre-set internet search for pictures of labouring people on a computer located near by. Finally, the images that are collected will be projected on to the 80cm³ ice block, creating a “dynamically changing collage animated by my brainwaves,” said the artist.

Paradoxically, although visitors to the gallery will only see Mr Waxman asleep, he said his work sends a message of support for workers in Aberdeen and the world over.

“This is very much a gesture in empathy with the exploited, whether the labourer is an office worker, or someone sifting through garbage in a landfill, it is meant to remind us here about the privilege which we enjoy – and to connect us with workers across the world as part of a global ecology of labour,” he said.

Over the four days of the show, the block of ice is expected to melt away. During that time its meltwater will

be filtered, and drained into empty whisky bottles, donated by the Glenfiddich distillery. Mr Waxman’s own waking activities begin after dark, when he will make labels from the image of labour, to stick on the bottles, forming an edition of 500 of “unique sculptural pieces” for sale. All proceeds will be sent to a drinking water charity which operates in the Middle East.

Mr Waxman, who is in his thirties, studied at the Art Instiute of Chicago and produced an early version of his latest work ten years ago. That first installation had been a response to the disabling impact of a sleeping disorder, he revealed. Suffering from extreme exhaustion, inflammation of the joints and unable to walk without the support of sticks, the artist found that the problems of disability were not recognised by any aspect of society.

“In trying to describe how I was feeling I said I felt like a block of ice, to help people outside of my body understand that feeling of stasis of being frozen in place and not being able to produce, in the way that people are expected to be productive,” he said.

Mr Waxman added that though he was now physically fit, the experience had become “a palette for my artmaking.”

Block of Ice + 1/60 is at the Peacock Visual Arts, 21 Castle Street, Aberdeen, until Saturday. Admission free.



Back to overwork but keeping the NTTL ball rolling! by notimetolose

It’s ironic, to say the least, that I’d find myself facing the same ol’ overwork “traps” so shortly after presenting an exhibition about work/life balance. Old habits die hard and my habit of taking on too much, and not finding sufficient balance between the things I have to do, the things I need to do, and the things I really want to do, is still firmly in place. That being said, I don’t want to give the impression that it’s been all work and no play… I have indeed managed to find time to spend traveling and to gather with amazing friends. Still, balance is a tough thing to achieve and, as much as multi-tasking promises efficiency, the truth is that we can only really do one thing at a time, and we can only really be in one place at a time.

This might explain why I haven’t had much time to work on this blog. I’d still really like to comment on the last phase of the exhibition, Tobaron Waxman’s new media installation and performance, “Block of Ice +1/60”, and I will definitely do that as soon as possible. In short, I am delighted to report that his project was very well received. In a few minutes, I’ll repost the article that appeared in The Times and, in a few days, I hope to share some of the documentation that was collected during the performance.

Although No Time to Lose at PVA is now in the past, related activity is still underway. I am still chatting with other possible venues, and I am working with PVA to produce a follow-up publication. These are all very exciting things for us, and you can be sure I’ll keep you posted on these and other developments!!

All the best,
Milena