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


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

Advertisements


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



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!



New delicious bookmarks added by notimetolose
September 26, 2009, 12:31 pm
Filed under: ideas, news articles | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A recent flurry of great blog suggestions have arrived from Monika, Abby, and electronic news lists at large. Rather than post each separately (the ongoing plight of overwork is driving me nuts!), I am summarizing the links here. All can be found at http://delicious.com/notimetolose, as well…

“The Long Work Hours Culture”
http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?storycode=405651&encCode=917617571BC14249875JTBS737226611

Julia Bryan-Wilson, Art Workers. Radical Practice in the Vietnam War Era, October 2009
http://www.ucpress.edu/books/pages/10899.php

The Vera List Centre for Art and Politics
Panel Discussion & Art Installation: Changing Labor Value
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
http://www.veralistcenter.org/237

But, oh my… the one from Abby on Family360 sounds especailly wacky!! I think I will post it separately… asap.  :Shudder!:



BlackBerrys ‘adding 15 hours’ to working week by notimetolose
September 20, 2009, 3:37 pm
Filed under: news articles | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Thanks for sending this along, Monika!

BlackBerrys ‘adding 15 hours’ to working week
Alan Jones, Press Association
guardian.co.uk, Sunday 23 August 2009 19.23 BST
Reposted from: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2009/aug/23/blackberry-work-life-balance

Staff with mobile technology such as BlackBerrys work an extra 15 hours a week as they constantly check emails even when out of the office, new research found today. A survey of more than 600 employees revealed many were turning into workaholics because of the ability to receive and send messages and work online even when they were at home. The employment law firm Peninsula said the working week was being extended to about 55 hours for many people and urged employers to make sure their staff were not breaching working time regulations. PA

• This article was amended on Tuesday 25 August 2009. We said the working day was being extended to about 55 hours for many people; we meant the working week. This has been corrected.



Spain Working life a source of insecurity by notimetolose
September 19, 2009, 10:50 am
Filed under: news articles | Tags: , , , , , ,

Reposted from: euro|topics 18/09/2009

La Vanguardia – Spain
Working life a source of insecurity
After several employees at telephone company France Télécom took their own lives in the last few months the daily La Vanguardia favours intervention by the French government aimed at making the process of privatising the company more humane: “The case of France Télécom certainly gives pause for reflection. No one denies that we are living in a competitive society, nor that the effort or ability to adapt to new challenges is vital for professional and entrepreneurial advance. But nor would anyone in their right mind deny that a revision of the labour policy at France Télécom is necessary. … Working life, which used to provide security nowadays generates insecurity. Therefore it is crucial to find a balance between the demands of a competitive society and public health. Cases like that of France Télécom should not be repeated.”