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

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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/



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.



Artist attacks all work and no play culture by notimetolose

I wish I got to see Amy’s performance, as well!! Here is a newspaper article from yesterday’s issue of The Press and Journal

——-

Artist attacks all work and no play culture
new performance questions why new technology makes us work harder

Published: 21/06/2008

A VISUAL artist who questions why modern technology is making us all work harder performed a new work on the streets of Aberdeen yesterday.

Amy Alexander, aka VJ Ubergeek, was in the city presenting her CyberSpaceLand project to unsuspecting passers-by. The audiovisual performance, a criticism of people who are endlessly working without leisure time, is part of Peacock Visual Arts’ No Time to Lose exhibition.

The American artist performed the project yesterday in locations across Aberdeen using music, video, office furniture and technological devices adapted to suit the purposes of the project.

The work is usually performed in nightclubs and art galleries and was brought to the streets for the first time yesterday. The No Time to Lose exhibition, which will be at Peacock Visual Arts in Castle Street, Aberdeen until July 26, brings together artists from around the world with their interpretations of the theme “overwork”.



There’s so much more to come! by notimetolose

Hello everyone! Milena here =-)

This past month a I did a great deal more traveling than usual, but it has come to an end and I’m now back in Winnipeg. Being in Aberdeen was wonderful thanks to the amazing staff at Peacock Visual Arts, and the wonderful artists involved with No Time to Lose.

I spent my last day in Aberdeen wandering around downtown, exploring parts that I’d not had a chance to see earlier. Before embarking on that little expedition, I stopped into the gallery to say “good bye” to the show. In some ways, owing to my geographical distance, it feels like it’s over. The reality, however, is that things are just beginning!!

On Friday, June 20, Amy Alexander will perform CyberSpaceLand at various locations in Aberdeen — The Green at 5 p.m., Schoolhill at 6 p.m., and Beach Boulevard at 7 p.m. For more information, click here: http://www.peacockvisualarts.com/archive/157/get-away-from-your-laptop-and-dance

On Tuesday, July 8, cineclub at Peacock Visual Arts will present four short videos…

  • Work [Kika Thorne, 1999]
  • The Measure of Success [Coleen Finlayson & Cherie Moses, 1987]
  • A Cure for Being Ordinary [Emily Vey Duke & Cooper Battersby, 2005]
  • Dreams of the Night Cleaners [Leila Sujir, 1996]

From July 22 – 26, Tobaron Waxman will perform his sculptural installation, Block of Ice + 1/60 … more details about that coming soon!

And of course, we have a publication in the works! It’ll be something a little different than a conventional exhibition catalogue because we’re not as keen on having a straight forward document as we are in capturing the effect of the exhibition, including the response and dialogue it helped to generate.

I would love to post photos from the opening reception and panel discussion right now, but unfortunately I have “no time to lose” on a few other obligations. I’m hoping to share images this weekend. And on that note, if you have any that you would like to share, please do! You can email them to the gallery, or post them on Flickr and provide links via the comments section of this blog! We’re all looking forward to sharing a great conversation about the art works included in the exhibition, and the overarching theme of work/life balance.

Best!
– M.



Tuesday: So Far, So Good… by notimetolose

Think of this update as a virtual play-by-play 😉

Between four power sanders and five power people, we got through those desks in no time flat! I suspect they are already being painted.

Anja and Anja returned from “Roam/Stay” with a collection of drawings, recordings, notes, and photographs. They would have loved to spend more time engaged in these actions and interactions but, unfortunately, the clock is ticking away and there is still much for them to accomplish before the exhibition opens on Thursday.

On that note, their Fibreglas form has been plastered and is now drying so that it too can be sanded down and painted. In the meantime, they are reviewing their audio material for “Roam/Stray” and making final edits to the video components of “Workplaces at Night”

I just received an email from Cathy… all is going very well. She has acquired plenty of books and other materials, and the library staff are being tremendously helpful. It’s fantastic that they are so interested in her project! Whoo hoo!

Abby will be arriving by train at approx. 5 p.m. I’m looking forward to having the “NTTL Phase 1” gang altogether, and of course, everyone is looking forward to meeting her, as well :). Her office cubicle is in place, a desk and chair have been sourced, Jack seems to have the computer kiosk software in order, and now for the fun part: decorating! We’ll probably really get at that tomorrow.

Monika has finished the brochure, and now I’m going to look over the label text. A couple of media appointments have been scheduled for tomorrow, and John de Graaf of the fantastic North American organization, Take Back Your Time, has so kindly informed me that news about our exhibition will be released as part of the next newsletter, which will be circulated soon!

More later!



Tuesday Morning… by notimetolose

This morning is deceptively quiet…

The office is calm… probably because everyone is still waking up. I’m also calm… probably because I’m still waking up 😉

Anja + Anja are out performing “Roam/Stray”, a project that involves rides around town on public transit in order to initiate conversations with/observations of people who appear stressed out, or who are working while on the go. The artists will speak to people about how they maintain space between their working lives and their personal lives. With permission, they will audio-record conversations. Additionally, they will take notes and photos, and draw to achieve a creative gathering of interpersonal data. This information will later be installed within the gallery space for visitors to peruse. They have already performed this action in Amsterdam and Barcelona, the cities where they reside. The data from these cities will be compiled with the data collected here in Aberdeen for an effect that will draw parallels and highlight contrasts between the pace of life in these three locations.

Cathy is at the Georgina Scott Sutherland management library of the Robert Gordon University where she will begin installing her project, which juxtaposes books on contemporary human resources management with consumer care products … both being items that encourage people to push to their limits, and then some.

The books below are well representative of the type of phenomenon she’s discussing…

As a note, larger versions of any images posted here can be viewed directly at our flickr page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8201641@N02/.

Oh! And yesterday Cathy informed me that she’ll be blogging directly about her project, as well. So, keep your eyes peeled for that =-).

Hmmm… What else? Oh yes! Today we continue sanding Saki’s desks to prepare them for a coat of institutional grey paint 😉 It’s like a desk makeover! Cathy and I noticed yesterday the similar colour scheme at the Georgina Scott Sutherland library… pale grey and medium blue. Perhaps they are colours deemed most likely to keep workers focused? An interesting possibility…

At any rate, the melamine coating on the desks are proving somewhat resilient, so it’s taking longer than we expected. Jack is bringing in another electric sander today, so at least we’ll have two people plugging along at once.

On that note, I should get downstairs! The task of sanding awaits!