How is a contemporary workplace organised? In Fordist workplaces, time and motion studies monitored workers’ activity in order to make the industrial process more efficient and productive. In response, workers and intellectuals in post-war Italy began mapping their own workplaces in order to better plot resistance and sabotage. How can we, as workers within the ‘new economy’ begin to understand our own working conditions? Joanna Figiel and Stevphen Shukaitis (Metropolitan Factory) will look at contemporary working conditions for precarious workers within the arts, culture and education and how we understand our own working lives.
Joanna Figiel is a doctoral candidate at the Centre for Culture Policy Management, City University London. Her research focuses on labour issues, precarity and policy within the creative and cultural sectors. She completed her MA at the Centre for Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths. She is a member of the editorial collective of ephemera.
Stevphen Shukaitis is an editor at Autonomedia and lecturer at the University of Essex. He is the author of Imaginal Machines: Autonomy & Self-Organization in the Revolutions of Everyday Day (2009, Autonomedia) and editor (with Erika Biddle and David Graeber) of Constituent Imagination: Militant Investigations // Collective Theorization (AK Press, 2007). Previously he has worked as producer for Ever Reviled Records and WBAI (both in the New York City metropolitan region), and is all too familiar with the contradictions of trying to survive as a creative worker today.