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


“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



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!!



NY Times: Of Women, Sleep Deprivation and Financial Meltdown by uebergeek
April 7, 2010, 6:44 pm
Filed under: news articles | Tags: , , ,

Howdy, Amy Alexander (Uebergeek) here… found this article I thought might be of interest. You  gotta love the title, if nothing else:

Of Women, Sleep Deprivation and Financial Meltdown

It’s a couple months old, but I just ran across it today.



In favour of a 21 hour work week by notimetolose
February 13, 2010, 6:16 pm
Filed under: ideas, news articles | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

As reported by BBC news…

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8513783.stm

Thanks, Monika!



A Bit Rich: Calculating the real value to society of different professions by notimetolose
January 30, 2010, 8:47 pm
Filed under: ideas | Tags: , , , , , , ,

The link below connects to a recent report issues by the New Economics Foundation on how the value of work is calculated. It can be dowloaded in .pdf format, or ordered printed and bound.

Thank you for passing this my way, Monika!!

————————

This report takes a new approach to looking at the value of work. We go beyond how much different professions are paid to look at what they contribute to society. We use some of the principles and valuation techniques of Social Return on Investment analysis to quantify the social, environmental and economic value that these roles produce – or in some cases undermine.

* * *

Pay matters. How much you earn can determine your lifestyle, where you can afford to live, and your aspirations and status. But to what extent does what we get paid confer ‘worth’? Beyond a narrow notion of productivity, what impact does our work have on the rest of society, and do the financial rewards we receive correspond to this? Do those that get more contribute more to society?

Our report tells the story of six different jobs. We have chosen jobs from across the private and public sectors and deliberately chosen ones that illustrate the problem. Three are low paid – a hospital cleaner, a recycling plant worker and a childcare worker. The others are highly paid – a City banker, an advertising executive and a tax accountant. We examined the contributions they make to society, and found that, in this case, it was the lower paid jobs which involved more valuable work.

The report goes on to challenge ten of the most enduring myths surrounding pay and work. People who earn more don’t necessarily work harder than those who earn less. The private sector is not necessarily more efficient than the public sector. And high salaries don’t necessarily reflect talent.

The report offers a series of policy recommendations that would reduce the inequality between different incomes and reconnect salaries with the value of work.

* * *

http://www.neweconomics.org/publications/bit-rich?utm_source=nef+%28the+new+economics+foundation%29+List&utm_campaign=daf4a1636f-eletter-january&utm_medium=email



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



Economist Debates: “This house believes that Europeans would be better off with fewer holidays and higher incomes” by notimetolose
December 23, 2009, 2:07 pm
Filed under: events, ideas, interactive | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Oh really? Well, that’s quite an interesting point from which to commence a debate on this subject.

Click here to read Professor Robert J. Gordon’s defence of this motion and  John de Graaf’s rebuttal. John O’Sullivan moderates and citizens of the interwebs are welcome to contribute their comments, as well.

As of day two, 18% of people logging in to The Economist’s website have voted in favour of the motion, and 82% have voted in opposition. Gee… I can’t really say I’m surprised 😉

Check it out! http://www.economist.com/debate/overview/160