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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

Hey just to keep up our spirits here's an article on "bullshit" jobs by David Graeber:

http://www.strikemag.org/bullshit-jobs/

and its mentioned in the economist:

http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2013/08/labour-markets-0?fsrc=scn/tw/te/bl/bullshitjobs

Yeah, I'd also like to meet up again and discuss the direction of the class
as well as just hanging out leisurely. After all, it's summer :)

Actually I should apologize to you Allen but nonetheless to answer your questions I have a pair studio monitors and a sound card that is bus (usb) powered for us to use. As for a location I'm all for trying out archive or even the finanzamt preferably on wednesday evenings.

Whats up fellow workers?

At our last class we discussed taking time from researching work to instead understand the themes we raised in the class by watching a selection of films proposed by class attendees together. Aside from enjoying a little bit of leisure we'd also take the time to discuss the direction to take for this class since as I'm sure many of us felt there's more aspects to explore in regards to understanding "work". 

Allen had mentioned starting with a science fiction film related to utopias and it would be nice to explore other themes such as: alienation, commodification, work, leisure, desire and of course work refusal.

 

Looking forward to our next encounter

Chris

Hey everyone,

On sunday we're going to take some leisure time, a little bit of work and hold a bbq at Hasenheide for one our class attendees before she returns to Holland. Feel free to bring extra beer, food, for the grill  in the meantime more information about exact time location will be posted here on the fb page:

https://www.facebook.com/events/138239543033374/?notif_t=plan_edited

Chris

 

Sorry for the delay in posting the information about the films which I suggested. They are both by Christoph Spehr:

 

On Rules and Monsters:

Inverse Détournement: On Rules and Monsters: An Introduction to Free Cooperation, by Christoph Spehr and Jörg Windszus (narrated by Tony Conrad and Stephanie Rothenberg) is a work that brings to the surface the subversive bubbles that are spontaneously, but only fleetingly and half-consciously, formed and then dissolved in the imaginations of those who look at cinema images. What is it that the forces of order in science fiction movies so vigorously oppose? For Spehr and friends it is the specter of free cooperation: spontaneous, voluntary, egalitarian human agency appears in these worlds upside down as something monstrous and threatening. But this is more than a simple inversion. It’s authors also show how science fiction cinema also contains residual images of free cooperation itself.

and

On Blood and Wings (2006)

.... is about the multitude battling capitalism. Giving a vampire twist to Marx in unveiling the crucial mechanism of capitalism ("to make more and more blood out of blood"), it shows the problems of the Multitude fighting the vampires to conquer capitalism towards a free and just society. The video is put together from found footage out of a dozen different vampire movies.

If you search around on the net you will find more information. Anway, we could watch whichever one there is more interest in, or something else. Maybe someone could set up a poll. Then there will be the logisitics ot thin about. Projector is covered by speakers will be needed and we need to decide ona place and time. Archiv would be the easiest if we can provide the sound equipment and ask them politely (probably).

Sorry again for the delay.

Also in addition to the class reading I'd like to suggest this discussion between Franco Bifo Berardi and Mark Fisher in which they discuss some of the things we touched on in past classes in the context subjectivity, late capitalism and/or a post work society. Some of us may find this as a useful reference to reflect on not only where (and how) this class should procede but also how we may individually (and collectively) procede in everyday life.

http://www.frieze.com/issue/article/give-me-shelter/

just to repost in the class blog:

Hey guys

This weekend we're going to take a slightly different course by discussing a critique of social reproduction, gender, work and its relation to society that we believe no longer wants to WORK.

The text we'll be referring is "The Problem With Work" by Kathi Weeks

 Chapter 4, Hours for What We Will: Work, Family, and the Demand for Shorter Hours (p. 151-175)

You can download the text here on aaaaarg:

http://aaaaarg.org/text/47988/problem-work-feminism-marxism-anti-work-politics-and-post-work-imaginaries

I mentoned that Fred Turner was speaking this week at Haus Der Kulturen Der Welt in the contect of their current exhibiton about Silicon Valeey ideologies etc- the details are linked but it's at 18.00 on Friday.

http://hkw.de/en/programm/2013/the_whole_earth/veranstaltungen_83124/veranstaltungsdetail_88180.php

Just a coupl eof notes regarding a couple of things i brought up last week. The italian writer I mentioned, Sergio Bologna, is interviewed by Klaus Ronneberger & Sabine Grimm here:

http://www.springerin.at/dyn/heft.php?id=50&pos=1&textid=1904&lang=en

His best know text about the Italian movement of the 70s is "The Tribe of Moles" which is available in "Autonomia: Post-Political Politics", pretty easy to locate on the web.

 

Secondly the Swede who proposed a plan to buy out private enterprises and put them under worker ownership is Rudolf Meidner, and he was also one of the architects of the Swedish social welfare system(industrial model.

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