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


A link I neglected to post earlier.. . by notimetolose
November 1, 2010, 9:56 am
Filed under: ideas | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

This reached my inbox via Abby some time ago, but didn’t make it to the blog because I was waiting until I could bring myself to preface it with some commentary. After so many months (many, many month) I find the concept of Family 360 no less repugnant and I figure I’ll just leave the link for someone else to find and comment on.

Example of what is so repugnant:

“The strains within today’s families are taking a serious toll, not only on families themselves, but on workplace productivity and effectiveness.”

All I really have to say is:  “screw workplace productivity” because, when it comes down to it, making money for other people is hardly worth this type of sacrifice.

According to Wikipedia, in the United States at the end of 2001, 10% of the population owned 71% of the wealth and the top 1% owned 38%. On the other hand, the bottom 40% owned less than 1% of the nation’s wealth.[14] It also reports that a  2006 study by the Federal Reserve System shows that, from 1989 to 2004, the distribution in the United States had been changing with indications there was a greater concentration of wealth held by the top 10% and top 1% of the population.[1]

With this in mind, why should anyone focus on fitting their personal life into a business paradigm? Its not going to offer any gain, whatsoever. Instead, we should focus on having a better life. And, if that means spending time with family on terms that are mutually beneficial to all family members without intervention by an employer, then surely that will be more fulfilling and worthwhile.

Here, follow this link and be grossed out even more: http://www.family360.com

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“MASHING UP” : Art+Labour … a public conversation by notimetolose
October 19, 2010, 10:03 am
Filed under: activism, events | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

“MASHING UP” :
Art+Labour
a public conversation

CCA 5
Tue 9th Nov 2010
12.30-6pm

Art+Labour is a public conversation exploring the conditions and experiences of creative labour in the cultural industries – working conditions, pay, working hours; freedom and autonomy, pleasure and obligation; insecurity and uncertainty; social reproduction, networking and isolation – and artists’ organising within it – unions, artists’ associations, or self-organised studio/exhibition spaces.

What diverse forms of employment do artists undertake? Who are their employees? How secure and how flexible are these forms of employment? What are the conditions of employment and how are these changing? What can we say of artists’ autonomy in relation to contemporary labour practices? How do cultural workers effectively organise around labour issues? What would it mean for artists to withdraw their labour in defence of conditions in one’s primary or secondary employment? With successive governments’ emphasis on arts’ social function, how does communality express itself in competitive Creative Industries? What is industrial about the Creative Industries; where do ‘Cultural’ producers sit within the policy frame of the ‘Creative’ Industries? How do we as cultural producers recognise our own positions and dependency on/within/alongside the public sector? With the entrepreneurial restructuring of the arts in Scotland and in the face of selective public sector cuts throughout the UK, how constructive are artists’ isolated appeals for a state of exception? What is so unique about artists in the social factory?

These are some of the questions to be addressed during this public conversation. The discussion is open to anyone – cultural workers, artists, students, interns, precarious and self-organised labour affiliated to academia – concerned with issues of art, labour and economics. The event will begin with a series of short position statements from invited speakers followed by discussion among panelists and audience.

Panelists include:

  • Angela McRobbie
    Professor of Communications, Dept. of Media & Communications, Goldsmiths
  • Scottish Artists Union
    The representative voice for artists in Scotland
  • Graham Jeffery
    Reader: Music and Performance, The School of Creative and Cultural Industries, UWS
  • Katarzyna Kosmala
    Reader, Centre for Contemporary European Studies, UWS
  • Gesa Helms
    Researcher & artist
  • Brett Bloom
    Member of Chicago-based art collective Temporary Services who recently produced ‘Art Work : A national conversation about art, labour, and economics’
  • Owen Logan
    Researcher, School of Divinity, History and Philosophy, University of Aberdeen
  • Facilitated by Gordon Asher
    Effective Learning Tutor, UWS Centre for Academic & Professional Development

Event is free but ticketed, tickets available from CCA Box Office:
CCA, 350 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow G2 3JD
tel : +44 (0)141 352 4900
http://www.cca-glasgow.com



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.



“Vijay Monany on fascinating work instead of retirement” by notimetolose
September 10, 2010, 1:08 pm
Filed under: ideas, news articles | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

There is nothing enlightened about this proposal and the ulterior motive is remarkably transparent.

Why on earth should people be enticed to continue generating profit for others through their labour? Indeed, wages continue to fall despite profits in a number of sectors (mainly banks). Much work is also related to continuing the ecologically destructive cycle of consumption.

People should have the chance to pursue their own range of  interests without external pressures such as bosses, sales quotas, meetings, deadlines, or overtaxing workloads due to reduced staffing. Furthemrore, people should be bal eto pursue their own interests withou being a slave to economic interest as defined by others.

Reposted from: euro|topics 09/09/2010

Le Monde – France
Vijay Monany on fascinating work instead of retirement
If the French have recently striked and demonstrated en masse against the government’s plan to raise the retirement age to 62, it’s because their working environment doesn’t offer them all it should, writes Vijay Monany from the management consulting firm Khampus in the daily Le Monde: “The reason why the French prefer retirement to work is exactly the same as why they prefer holidays to work. … They are bored by their work, and they develop their interests outside of work. The real paradox is that it’s only when they retire that people feel their life is starting, that they can take control of their destiny and read, travel, follow their interests, or spend time with their friends. … One day we’ll understand that social progress does not consist in stringing together weeks of holiday, reducing the number of working hours or lowering the retirement age. One day we will understand that true progress consists in making work so interesting that there will be no difference between it and leisure time. One day we’ll see that the solution to pension reform consists in rendering work so fascinating that no one wants to retire.” (08/09/2010)
» full article (external link, French)
More from the press review on the subject » Trade unions, » Social affairs, » Labour, » France
All available articles from » Vijay Monany



TEXTE ZUR KUNST: Life at work by notimetolose
September 9, 2010, 11:32 am
Filed under: ideas, publication | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,


This issue of “Texte zur Kunst” bears the programmatic title “Life at Work”. Admittedly, this means to take up quite a bit, for at issue is nothing less than revaluating a theoretical and historical relation that has determined the history of modern and contemporary art like almost no other: Since “around 1800”, the forms of art have been ascribed a quasi-organic life of their own. An important trend in modern aesthetics sought to evoke liveliness, with the aim of offering resistance to the commodified world of capitalism itself. But how does this problematic pose itself today? Is a critical reference to “life” in art and beyond at all possible after theories of biopolitics have insistently argued that capitalism has permeated all areas of life?

Plus reviews from Berlin, Madrid, Zurich, Basel, Tel Aviv, Vienna, Barcelona, Munich, Cologne, Frankfurt am Main, Leverkusen, and Kraichtal

Exclusive new artists’ editions:
Louise Lawler, Thomas Scheibitz

ENGLISH CONTENT

SVEN LÜTTICKEN
ACTS IN THE AGE OF VIRTUOSO PERFORMANCE

BRANDEN W. JOSEPH
LEE LOZANO’S DREAM OF LIFE

ERIC C. H. DE BRUYN
INTERMITTENT CONVERSATIONS ON LEAVING THE FACTORY

PATENTED IDEALISM
A Conversation between Sven Lütticken and Hito Steyerl

SABETH BUCHMANN
LIFE AS ALLEGORY
On Joseph Beuys’s “La revoluzione siamo Noi”

RACHEL HAIDU
PERFORMANCE LIFE

PAUL CHAN
MIRACLES, FORCES, ATTRACTIONS, RECONSIDERED

REVIEWS

ALEXANDER ALBERRO
THE SILVER LINING OF GLOBALIZATION
On “The Potosí Principle” at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid

MICHAEL SANCHEZ
A DOSE OF FEELING
On Michael Krebber at Galerie Daniel Buchholz, Berlin

ARTISTS’ EDITIONS

LOUISE LAWLER
“DISCERNIBLE DIFFERENCE”, 2010

THOMAS SCHEIBITZ
“MASTERPLAN”, 2010

For additional information, orders or subscriptions please contact:

TEXTE ZUR KUNST
STRAUSBERGER PLATZ 19
10243 BERLIN
Germany

TEL +49 (0)30 – 30 10 453 45
FAX +49 (0)30 – 30 10 453 44

editionen@textezurkunst.de
http://www.textezurkunst.de



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



Everything is related… by notimetolose
July 21, 2010, 10:16 am
Filed under: news articles | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Foxconn suicides highlight China’s sweatshop conditions
By John Chan, 3 June 2010, World Socialist Web Site (wsws.org)

Thirteen suicide attempts since January, half of them during May, inside Foxconn’s huge plant at Shenzhen, a major manufacturing hub in southern China, underscore the brutal exploitation of Chinese workers by the world’s largest corporations. Ten workers have died, most of them just 18 to 24 years old. In the latest tragedy, a young man slashed his wrists in one of the factory’s dormitory last week.

Taiwanese-owned Foxconn is the world’s biggest electronics outsourcing manufacturer, operating 20 plants and employing more than 800,000 workers in China. The Shenzhen plant in Guangdong province houses 400,000 workers, making products from iPhones and iPads to PlayStations for international brands like Apple, Sony, Hewlett-Packard and Dell. Analysts estimate that about 70 percent of Apple’s products are manufactured there.

Most of the 13 workers who tried to kill themselves jumped from buildings because they were unable to bear the stress, alienation and humiliation they experience daily. They come from a second generation of migrant workers who, unlike their rural parents, have much higher expectations of urban life. They have access to the Internet and mobile phones and constantly see the vast new wealth that they help to create, but do not own.

Like other exporting companies, Foxconn’s basic monthly wage of 950 yuan ($US140) is in line with Shenzhen’s official minimum wage. Employees must work hours of overtime each day to make about 2,000 yuan to meet basic needs. Their harsh experiences go well beyond low wages. Foxconn recruits must undergo a course of “military training” to prepare them for the company’s industrial discipline.

Foxconn’s military-style regime, which is typical of export factories in China, requires workers to live in dormitories with up to 10 people a room. A single dormitory houses 5,000 workers, and there are many dozens of them. Workers are only allowed to enter their own rooms with electronic badges and are not allowed to cook, or have visitors or sexual relations. The dorms have no air conditioning in order to pressure workers to do extra overtime during the summer, as there is air conditioning on the factory floor.

Read the full article here: http://www.wsws.org/articles/2010/jun2010/foxc-j03.shtml