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WORK: THE SUBJECTIVITIES OF WORK, WAGE LABOR, LEISURE AND A LIFE WITHOUT IT
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Organizing Committee:

“Work is the blackmail of survival”... or is it?

In a series of weekly classes we will seek to develop a historical, contemporary and theoretical understanding of “work” while considering its relation to human subjectivity and subjugation to power concluding with a workshop in which the class reflects its own positioning towards “work” in relation to contemporary conditions.

Through literature, art, and theory we will attempt to disseminate the notion of work within the context of (but not limited to) work in relation to capitalism, society and leisure, and the typologies of work spanning from the French revolution to our present day.

We will explore the subject by shoveling ourselves through varying media, text, audio and film. A final workshop intends to bring all aspects about A LIFE WITHOUT WORK together.

A current bibliography is set up HERE and will probably grow overtime. More detailed information for each meeting can be found on the meeting pages.


WHAT IS WORK? The conditions of work now and then.
Saturday 1 June, 12:00

HOW DO WE WORK? Work, sleep & leisure - typologies of work in social relations.
Saturday 8 June, 12:00

WHY DO WE WORK? [pt.1] : What our culture is telling us about our desires TO WORK examined through film, art and music.
Saturday 15 June, 12:00

WHY DO WE WORK? [pt.2] : What our culture is telling us about our desires NOT TO WORK examined through film, art and music.
Saturday 22 June, 12:00

 

Comments

WHY DO WE WORK? [pt.1] :
What our culture is telling us about our desires TO WORK examined through film, art and music.

Building upon previous readings in the last meeting we asked what is/isn't work by examining its refusal from the perspective of the figure of the freelancer.
Coming from that discussion we considered the following thoughts on work:
•    work is the activity that humans perform as matter of nature as the producer of so called “value”
•    work itself is defined by its moment in history combining activity and social forces to organize if at least reproduce human life and society itself
•    work as an activity of alienation imposed as wage labor (and capitalism) organized by the bio political thus a condition to be refused

In preparation for the discussion next Saturday we would like to ask you to indulge yourself in the following questions:
1. How would you define “work” in general?
2. How do you characterize your work in regards to your general understanding?
3. How does working make you feel? What do you like about work?
4. Are there aspects of work you don't like? Are these aspects necessary to work? Why?
5. What do you want to talk about in the upcoming classes?

Now, if “human emotions and embodied communication becomes increasingly central to the production and consumption patterns that sustain capital flows in post-industrial society” (Bifo) are all social relations and we all together commodified?
The following texts and audio will help us to gain some grip on this issue:

(1)
Richard Sennett
Together. The Spectrum of Exchange. p.71-86
http://aaaaarg.org/text/37820/together-rituals-pleasures-and-politics-cooperation

(2)
Franco “Bifo” Berardi
What is the Meaning of Autonomy Today? Subjectivation, Social Composition, Refusal of Work
http://republicart.net/disc/realpublicspaces/berardi01_en.htm

Franco “Bifo” Berardi
The Soul at Work: From Alienation to Autonomy. Estrangement versus alienation. P. 44-51
Trans. Francesca Cadel and Giuseppina Mecchia, with preface by Jason E. Smith. Los Angeles, CA: Semiotexte, 2009.
http://aaaaarg.org/text/21515/soul-work-alienation-autonomy

(3)
Nina Power in conversation with Franco Berardi Bifo
Federico Campagna, from online publishing platform Through Europe, chairs this discussion between two figures both renowned for their combination of critical thought and direct action.
http://archive.org/details/NinaPowerInConversationWithFrancoBerardiBifo

(4)
Benjamin Scheerbarth
Where art and commerce hold hands in the sunset a pilot study of Katerholzig
A pilot study of Katerholzig @ Papaya Playa—A Design Hotels project
http://aaaaarg.org/text/47888/where-art-and-commerce-hold-hands-sunset-pilot-study-katerholzig

In addition to a discussion of this HOMEWORK, we will kick off the class with a claim that by disseminating popular media (and its relation to desire) has (and still is) telling us to conceive of a world with less work and more leisure.

See you on Saturday!

 

Please check out the next meeting! And don't forget to sign up!

http://thepublicschool.org/node/34512#comment-13069
http://thepublicschool.org/node/34512

See you on Saturday

Further Bibliography:

Please feel free to choose from any of the proposed Novara FM radio broadcast (http://novaramedia.com/category/fm), and keep on listening to them in the next weeks, since we will relate back to them in the next classes.

Novara Series 1, Episode 26 - The Problem with Full Unemployment Utopias
https://soundcloud.com/resonance-fm/novara-feb-21st-2012-1
Novara Series 2, Episode 12 - 'A Future That (Doesn't) Work'
https://soundcloud.com/resonance-fm/2012-10-16-14-00-00-novara
Novara Series 2, Episode 27 - Surplus. Labour and Capital
http://novaramedia.com/2013/01/surplus-labour-and-capital-utopia-and-dystopia-29113/
Novara Series 2, Episode 38 - 'Immaterial Labour Isn't Working'
http://novaramedia.com/2013/04/immaterial-labour-isnt-working/

Hey everyone, thanks for coming together and taking on the challenge to define work in its varying terms and definitions and to sort out work in its transformation with society over history.

Responding to your feedback, we've come to the conclusion that the best way to speak of how we work is to speak of its negation.  

In preparation for the preceding classes on HOW DO WE WORK? Work, sleep & leisure - typologies of work in social relations, we propose to explore typologies of work through the refusal of work beginning with the figure of the "freelancer" and a listening to the Novara radio broadcast (http://novaramedia.com/category/fm), which often focus on exploring the work-anti work binary.

Touching on the idea of the leisure, we will also try to clarify what distinguishes work from activity in general. We will get to the Sennett text in the 3rd meeting, since it opens up the arena for another set of questions, which are better to discussed after the next class.

TEXTS : HOW DO WE WORK? Work, sleep & leisure - typologies of work in social relations

(1)

Hito Steyerl , Freedom from everything - freelancers and mercenaries
http://www.e-flux.com/journal/freedom-from-everything-freelancers-and-mercenaries/
http://www.aaaaarg.org/text/47887/freedom-everything-freelancers-and-mercenaries

(2)

Novara Series 2, Episode 03 - The Refusal of Work and the Politics of Beverly Hills Cop 2
http://novaramedia.com/2012/07/the-refusal-of-work-post-fordist-subjectivity-and-beverly-hills-cop-2/

As remarked during the class: please feel free a text of your choice to integrate into the class. Please list them in the comment section of the meetings and prepare a quick summary for everyone to discuss.

See you on Saturday!

Hi Diego, it'll be around 2 hours probably. See you tomorrow! M

Hi,

I am working most of saturday. Is it ok if I show up 2-3 hours after the start?

 

Hi,

Is it ok if I arrive 2 to 3 hours later? I will be working for most of the day and will have to miss the beginning.

@kittifur: sure, just show up at the meeting on saturday. you might want to sign up for the meetings, so we know, how many people are coming

WHAT IS WORK? The conditions of work now and then.
Saturday 1 June, 12:00
http://thepublicschool.org/node/34510

HOW DO WE WORK? Work, sleep & leisure - typologies of work in social relations.
Saturday 8 June, 12:00
http://thepublicschool.org/node/34511

WHY DO WE WORK? [pt.1] : What our culture is telling us about our desires TO WORK examined through film, art and music.
Saturday 15 June, 12:00
http://thepublicschool.org/node/34512

WHY DO WE WORK? [pt.2] : What our culture is telling us about our desires NOT TO WORK examined through film, art and music.
Saturday 22 June, 12:00
http://thepublicschool.org/node/34513

Hey Kittifur,

You can just show up but to keep up with the class updates, changes to readings etc its best to signup for a class which you can do by clicking me "add me" link in the class description.

Hi, I'm new to the Public School. Can we just show up to the first meeting, or do we need to register somehow? Thanks!

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