“Asking for a friend… Do you know of any artist or theorist doing work on outsourcing, crowdsourcing, art direction, invisible labor, automation?” — Post on Facebook, 15 replies
Who Does What? (WDW?) is a show and a symposium that looks at how work is performed, delegated, outsourced, crowdsourced, transformed, destabilized, disguised, displaced, concealed and revealed, rejected and reclaimed. WDW? focuses on the present of work, a time in which work is as present as ever.
Now that the prospect of full automation is once again getting traction –together with the fear of human obsolescence and the rise of the so-called unnecessariat– WDW? probes the ideological and material tensions that shape the relationship between human and machine. What are the socio-economic premises of the computerization of work? Do machines mediate, replace, enhance or merely devalue human activity?
WDW? asks what happens when social media users become neurons of a hive-mind ready to be consulted, when most endeavors become services that can be commissioned and purchased online, when people become software extensions, when online marketplaces shrink the global geography of freelancing. Where and how value extraction is taking place?
WDW? also reflects on the work dynamics taking place within the art and design field: it questions the entrepreneurial shift from art to art direction. What kinds of labor go into art? Who are the ones performing it? Which activities, side-jobs, formal and informal economies constitute or limit a practice?
Finally, WDW? looks at manifestations of forms of labor that were rendered invisible, strategies to reclaim pleasure in activity, ways of finding pride and meaning in making and doing.
Participating Artists & Speakers
Anxious to Make
Elisa Giardina Papa
Ottonie Von Roeder
Photos: Tanja Kanazir.