Some days ago, Slovenian writer Pina Gabrijan sent me a few questions for an article about Aksioma‘s series of conferences and seminars Tactics & Practice, that have been taking place for ten years. It was a good chance to discuss about time and technologies, the recent history of digital culture and media art, automation and hyperemployment, and of course NFTs. The article is now online in Slovenian, and the English Q & A is available below.
“Sono un critico e curatore di arte contemporanea, non un filosofo, uno storico, un sociologo, un economista né tanto meno un profeta. Se Hyper-employment ti ha suggerito che possa esprimere una opinione autorevole su questioni di questo tipo, è perché mi sono lasciato condurre per mano da alcuni artisti che amo, ho fatto mia la loro analisi del mondo contemporaneo, mi sono interrogato sulle loro visioni di futuro. Lo dico non tanto per deresponsabilizzarmi da quello che dico, quanto per sottolineare un fatto per me importante: il ruolo cruciale delle arti e degli artisti, mai come oggi “utili” a generare comprensione della complessità del presente e a concretizzare specifiche idee di futuro. ”
Federico Di Vita mi ha intervistato su Hyperemployment per Elle Decor. Qui l’intervista integrale, che affronta questioni come l’impatto delle tecnologie sulla nostra quotidianità, automazione e fine del lavoro, arte e cultura hacker, il rapporto con la casa, la fine del tempo libero…
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.”
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).
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.”
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”.