The exhibition highlights the historically elusive concepts of stimuli to work, with the centrality of „consciousness-raising” as one of the main terms in the Marxist legacy.

WORK
Curated by Szilvi Német
25 October – 25 November 2018
aqb project space, Budapest

The long, conflict-ridden relation between capital and labor has not been reconciled even in the developed countries of late capitalism, but shows permanent signs of crisis instead. The popular mantras of „Robots/Immigrants will take our jobs” echoing the fear of falling out of production; the anti-market behavior of state-administered communal work, while the anti-state tactics of multinational corporations, the economic undervaluation of socially necessary jobs and the appraisement and rise of „bullshit” jobs, the widening of unpaid shadow work, the demise of the traditional working class values, of organized labour and of the recreation of the human capital (health, education, culture), the birth of the neo-proletariat and the mainstreaming of employment insecurity and uncertainty are all symptoms of this en ever-deepening crisis. Labour utopias today rather revolve around a „post-work” future than around the autonomy and self-fulfillment achieved through work.

What role does the state, the market and the individual play in the transformation of life into work and its commodification? Is there a chance to break free with a potential new communality? While the production of collective capacity was undertaken by the welfare state in the social democratic model, in the past 50 years of the neoliberal takeover the individual strategies of coping and management have been privileged in face of society.

The exhibition highlights the historically elusive concepts of stimuli to work, with the centrality of „consciousness-raising” as one of the main terms in the Marxist legacy. In the light of the ever-technicised work theories, the notion of the information society and the now dominant neurological disciplines, „consciousness” also signifies the human brain as one of the most contested sites of political, social and psychedelic innovation.

With the uncoupling of work and the natural environment – with the establishment of the time regime – and the artificial overdetermination of certain senses gave rise to the emergence of psychotechnics as a control force over the advancement of productivity and labour. The exhibition enumerates a selection of diverse biopolitical practices and imaginaries from the Soviet (Konstantin Melnikov) and American-type (Muzak Ltd) of work organizations through the workings of the post-industrial service industry (Sam Kidel) and the digital conditions of today's life and work (Lauren McCarthy). The invention of the future of work is to be demoed through projects speculating about a new division of labour either by the introduction of a new peer-to-peer, blockchain technology (Jelena Viskovic & Yin Aiwen) or by the public appropriation of high-tech dubbed as the coming of a "fully automated luxury capitalism" (Novara Media).

Projects-contributors:
Sleep – Konstantin Melnikov (Sonata of Sleep), Znamya (production: György Szimán),
Dream – Do you dream about the Internet? (code: Ádám Bodnár , design: Adrienn Császár, installation: Botond Keresztesi, concept: Szilvi Német, content: crowd-sourced) www.doyoudreamabouttheinternet.com
Fashion – Gosha Rubchinskiy x Adidas collab, Burberry, Vetements, H&M, Compania Fantastica, Novara Media, styling & installáció: Karol Müller & Dávid Várhegyi
Play – The Rodina (CZ), Job Simulator (VR)
Sound – Sam Kidel (UK), Seth Price (US), Martina Raponi (IT/NL), Muzak Ltd. (Stevens Institute of Technology, US)
Care – Lauren McCarthy (US), Jelena Viskovic & Yin Aiwen (CN/NL) & Rites Network
Communication – NewLife.ai (Vector Newman, Sofiane Delloue)
Collective for Ending Human Overspecialization (Jakub Černý, Lukáš Likavčan, Pavel Sterec, Jan Trnka)

Exhibition identity & design: Adrienn Császár

Photo: Barnabás Neogrády-Kiss, Bilak Krysytna