Immaterial Labour Isn't Working


Immaterial Labour Isn’t Working is a series of free events. However, due to limited space you will need to book in advance to avoid disappointment.

We can be found at Auto Italia South East, Unit 2, 3 York Way, King’s Cross Central, London, N1C 4AE – about ten minutes walk from King’s Cross, St Pancras tube stop. Please use our post code – N1C 4AE – for satnav because some systems are giving incorrect directions.

Week One / Week Two / Week Three

Week Four

9. (In)visibility and Labour

Saturday 11th May, 6PM

Following on from the subjects discussed in the series so far, writers Will Wiles and James Bridle join Ben Vickers to discuss the relationships between visibility, labour, aesthetics and technology, from the relationship between class and hi-visibility workwear to Internet Eyes and distributed automation.

James Bridle is a writer, artist and technologist and is the creator of a variety of work including Dronestagram, a programme which posts the landscapes of drone strikes to Instagram, as well as being the author of the blog The New Aesthetic.

Will Wiles is an author and freelance writer. A contributing editor to Icon magazine, his non-fiction writing usually deals with architecture and design. His debut novel, Care of Wooden Floors, is published by Fourth Estate.

Ben Vickers is a writer, network analyst, curator, technologist and luddite. He is curator of digital at the Serpentine Gallery and co-runs Limazulu project space. He makes a living and finds a vocation in understanding how systems of distribution, both human and other, come to affect our personal perception of reality.

@jamesbridle / @WillWiles / @benvickers_

Book tickets now
Event free but places limited – book now to avoid disappointment.

10. The Aesthetics of Immaterial Labour

Sunday 12th May, 2PM

Although a blurring of the boundaries between leisure, work and artistic practice seems like an apt description of many artists’ living situations this session questions why the concept of ‘immaterial labour’ has become so popular within the art world in recent years. What is different about artistic labour now that indicates the necessity for a shift in theorising artworks and art practices as distinct from the relationship between how artists worked and what they produced in say, the 1960s or even the historical avant-gardes of the 1920s-1930s? Is ‘immaterial labour’ a useful category for aesthetic analysis? Can ‘art’ be located as a ‘profession’, set of activities, or even as a type of subjectivity within capitalism? In relation to the above questions, where can the concept of ‘immaterial labour’ take us, politically, within the art world?

In this session Kerstin Stakemeier, Larne Abse Gogarty and Josefine Wikström will each give a short take on their position of this subject. This will be followed by a discussion with the audience.

Larne Abse Gogarty is a writer and researcher currently undertaking doctoral research at UCL in the History of Art department on collective art practices in the USA in the 1930s and 1990s. She is a regular contributor to Art Monthly, involved in organising the Marxism in Culture seminar at the Institute of Historical Research and also a member of the steering committee for the Centre for the Study of Contemporary Art at UCL.

Kerstin Stakemeier lives and works in Berlin and Munich, where she is junior professor for media theory in the centre for interdisciplinary studies at the Academy of Fine Arts. She studied political theory and art history in Bremen, Berlin and London, where she completed her PhD on “Entkunstung – artistic models for the end of art” in 2010. She writes for a.o. for Texte zur Kunst, Springerin, Afterall and Phase 2. She has published several books, most recently “Painting – The Implicit Horion” (ed. with Avigail Moss).

Josefine Wikström is a PhD Candidate at the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy, Kingston University. In her thesis she investigates the role of performance art within contemporary art and from the standpoint of concepts of labour in Marx and post-Marxist thinkers. Josefine Wikström has taught at Central Saint Martins and Konstfack in Stockholm. She works as an art critic and writer and has written for Afterall Journal, Philosophy and Photography, Performance Research Journal and Paletten among others.

Book tickets now
Event free but places limited – book now to avoid disappointment.

11. Big Data, Social Networks, Data Selves

Sunday 12th May 6PM

The explosion of social networks means that the whole richness of human interaction – fights, breakups, love, loss, work, politics, art – are played out across network space by large numbers of the human population. Simultaneous with this is the rise of “Big Data” – huge data sets drawn from these networks and other data inputs that allow researchers (states, the public and private sector) to learn much about the populations under study. Virally and memetics, alledgedly spontaneous phenomena can be analysed with the statistical gaze. And everything else.

Alex Andrews is joined by Jay Owen and Ed Manley to ask what does all this mean? What does it mean to be intensively connected like this – selves porous and attached at every waking moment, blurring the boundaries of self-performance work and leisure? How do the micro-banalities of every day life – from the daily commute to the walk in the park – play out on a vast aggregate macro level of Big Data? What is it to have a self on a social network, a data self?

Jay Owens is a social media researcher at FACE, the creative research agency. She uses everything from big social data to semiotics to explain to brands what people are doing on the internet. Her last project was a comparative study of how the Gangnam Style and The Harlem Shake videos went viral.

Ed Manley is a researcher at UCL. His work uses big datasets to explore how variations in the behaviours of individuals in the city contribute to its form and function. He has carried out numerous spatial analyses of large collections of Twitter data, exploring what these patterns tell us about how people engage with social media, and whether these traces tell us anything about the rhythm of the city more generally.

Alex Andrews is a writer, digital activist, working programmer and academic. He is co-founder of the Creative Commons record label Records on Ribs, a project that seeks to explore notions of intellectual property, creativity and the commons in an Internet age. He has collaborated with Lucky PDF, teaching at their School of Global Art. He is webmaster and internet consultant for Auto Italia South East and the Immaterial Labour Isn’t Working project. He lives and works in London.

Book tickets now
Event free but places limited – book now to avoid disappointment.

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