If Work Becomes Our Life. Interview on Domus

Exhibitions, Texts
Guido Segni, Demand Full Laziness, 2018 – 2023. Installation view, Hyperemployment, MGLC – International Centre of Graphic Arts, November 7, 2019 – January 19, 2020. Photo: Jaka Babnik. Archive: MGLC, Aksioma.

In this interview made by Bianca Felicori for Domus Magazine, we discuss about the evolution of work, the death of free time, the occupation of domestic space and other themes addressed in Hyperemployment, the book recently published by NERO as the final output of the Hyperemployment annual programme.

The interview is available in Italian as well. Here my favorite quote:

“If, right now, I’m doing this interview instead of playing with my kids, watching a movie or scrolling through Tik Tok, it’s not just because it helps me sell a book – it’s because it connects me to you, and potentially to other people; because it entertains me, it makes me feel accomplished and alive, an active member of a community; it makes me feel, with a little postmodern embarrassment, on a mission. If, after this work is over, we continue to “work”, it is because these ideals have survived.”

Hyperemployment – Post-work, Online Labour and Automation

Exhibitions, Texts

The Hyperemployment book is out! One year after the launch of the Hyperemployment programme, this precious tiny book co-published by Aksioma and NERO sums up the project and improves it with the help of new essays by Silvio Lorusso and Luciana Parisi, and a conversation between !Mediengruppe Bitnik and Felix Stadler (also available here).

Talk to Me by Jonas Lund

Texts
Jonas Lund, Talk to Me, 2019. 36 volumes, 740 pages each, available in hardcover and softcover. Produced on the occasion of Hyperemployment. Book Design: Federico Antonini (superness.info); Editorial Advisory: Domenico Quaranta. Available here

On October 21, 2017, at 6:17 PM, Jonas reached out to me with a proposal: to turn his online piece, Talk to Me, launched a few months before, into a book. According to the official text, “Talk to Me is a conversational chatbot, […] trained and modelled on all previous instant message conversations (Skype, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger) as typed by the artist himself to create a smart, machine-learned, automatically talking version of the artist.” But in reality, Jonas told me, “it’s just me typing the answers through a Telegram bot, so each time someone uses the website I get a message on my phone and I answer.”

Hyperemployment – Post-work, Online Labour and Automation

Exhibitions

Download the program!

In the current phase of late capitalism, we are experiencing a crucial contradiction every day. On the one hand, the increasing automation of productive processes is apparently making John Maynard Keynes’s promise of a post-work society not only more real, but also closer; on the other hand, labour – far from disappearing – is colonising and altering any given moment and aspect of our existence. The rise of precarious labour has freed us from the alienation of a permanent job, but has also made our lives more unstable and anxious, and is producing new social diseases. The increasing automation has made us more unemployed – a condition we are frantically trying to escape with micro-labours, turning us into “entrepreneurs of the self”.