Immaterial Labour Isn't Working

Week Three Schedule

5. Solidarity Federation – Workplace Organising Workshop

Saturday 4th May, 12PM

How do we organise to defend our interests in a modern workplace? This workshop, facilitated by members of the Solidarity Federation (SolFed), aims to be a practical introduction to organising collectively in the workplace. Starting with the basics – how to talk with your colleagues about problems and grievances – the workshop will cover organising workplace committees, resisting management tactics of divide and rule, and how to organise direct action. Covering the difference between SolFed’s approach and a reformist union approach, it’s about direct action and solidarity rather than legalism, although issues around employment law will be covered.

This is a practical workshop aiming at providing skills for organising in the workplace, so please come ready to take part. This workshop is not open to managers, or those with the ultimate power to hire or fire workers.

Solidarity Federation (est. 1994) is a federation of groups and individuals across England, Scotland & Wales working together to help build a non-hierarchical, anti-authoritarian solidarity movement. By establishing local groups, the issues Solfed engages with are wide-ranging including defending our natural and local environment and health and opposing racism, sexism and homophobia both in local communities and in the work place.


6. The Digital, The Immaterial & The Workers’ Inquiry: a conversation about resistance and autonomy

Saturday 4th May, 2PM

What’s immaterial about immaterial labour? Does the digital worker balancing three jobs at once, checking her emails on her iPhone last thing at night before being woken by its alarm six hours later, share anything in common with the featureless but heroic immaterial labourer once seen as an emancipatory figure? Does ‘immaterial labour’ really properly name the kind of work we do – and what kind of work is that? What are strategies of sabotage and resistance at work – and why would it matter? Who and where are all these creative workers anyway? If immaterial utopia – a future free of scarcity and replete with automation – seems as ever distant as it always was, why is it easier and easier to imagine transformations in work as edging closer to dystopia? James Butler and Aaron Peters of Novara Media will present some ideas and then move to an open discussion on some of these themes:

  • Technology and the working day
  • Automation and its paradoxes: what if the robots steal my job?
  • Workers’ sabotage; social media melancholia and profit.
  • ‘Digital’/’Creative’ work as a (failed) solution to the ongoing crisis
  • The internet is real: the politics of infrastructure and communication
  • Why does my life look like my job? The protestant ethic and the spirit of the internet.
  • A worker’s party against work? But my job is fun!
  • ‘Post’-Fordism and the rise of the info-prole.
  • Workers’ Inquiry, or, I work how many hours a week?

Novara Media is an autonomous media organisation, offering critical reflection and exploration on the the present state of things, and attempting to look clearly at the reality of the current crisis. The weekly radio show goes out at 2pm, every Tuesday on Resonance 104.4 FM, and an archive of radio shows, texts and (soon) videos can be found at


7. Post-fordism and Mental Health

Saturday 4th May, 6PM

In the digital age the separation between work and leisure is becoming increasingly blurred. When are we truly “away from our desks” and how do our ill-defined online existences affect our mental health?

Hannah Black, Mark Fisher and Ramona discuss the relationship between Post-Fordist work conditions and contemporary concerns regarding the mental health of the worker. Chaired by Huw Lemmey, this session aims to bring a variety of contemporary voices together to discuss their research and spark debate surrounding these increasingly pertinent issues.

Hannah Black is a writer and artist. She lives in London and sometimes Berlin, and is a MFA student in Art Writing at Goldsmiths College, London.

Mark Fisher is the author of Capitalist Realism and the k-punk blog. He is programme leader of the MA in Aural and Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London and a lecturer at the University of East London.

Ramona is a substance misuse worker and teaching assistant in Edinburgh. She is part of the editorial team, with an interest in gender, reproductive labour, mental health, biomedicine and anti-work politics.

Huw Lemmey is an artist and writer whose work focuses on digital political culture and post-internet art. He is involved in running the Limazulu project space and has co-ordinated the Immaterial Labour Isn’t Working project with Auto Italia.

@nanpansky / @kpunk99 / @Ramonaspierre / @spitzenprodukte

8. Eleanor Saitta – The Hole in the Network where the Humans Shine Through

Sunday 5th May, 6PM

Give up on legibility and the coherence of politics, because you’re never going to get it again, and understand that this is a blessing. Plan on losing every battle for the rest of your lives to the ubiquitous surveillance state and the ubiquitous network-control state that follows it and understand that you still get to, as a collective entity, completely determine what those losses mean and who is losing.

Understand the difference between change and action. Understand what it means to be a good part of your ecosystem. Play within structure, shift the meaning of things that appear already over-defined. Become the dependent co-arising of the narrative frame.

Resist. Listen. Bend. Live.

Eleanor Saitta is Principal Security Engineer at the Open Internet Tools Project (OpenITP), directing the OpenITP Peer Review Board for open source software and working on adversary modelling. She is also Technical Director at the International Modern Media Institute (IMMI), a member of the advisory boards at Geeks Without Bounds (GWoB) and the Calyx Institute, and works on occasion as a Senior Security Associate with Stach & Liu. She is a founder of the Constitutional Analysis Support Team (CAST), previously co-founded the Seattle-based Public N3rd Area hacker space, and works on the Trike and Briar projects.


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