Working on the working conditions

with Naadira Patel. Variations Part I. Working on the working conditions aims to think through the idea of interruption and the relentlessness of living in a constant state of surveillance capitalism.


How many times a day do you feel like you are not doing enough online shopping? How many times a day do you forget your password? How many articles do you save for later? You can be guaranteed that I’m not giving the making of this work my full attention right now. Because I’m overloaded and overscheduled, such is the norm of working in an age of digital nomadism, self employment hustle and freelance flexibility. I work more now than I’ve ever worked in a full-time job.

What does it mean to work and make work as an artist? How do we work from home, and where do we draw the boundaries of work and life? What is free time? What are the ideal, even baseline, conditions for productivity?

Working on the working conditions will be presented over three days, in three video pieces, beginning with some ideas from 2019, moving through current trends and movements to the present, with possibility for speculation on the future.


Naadira Patel is an artist, designer and a researcher. She currently runs StudioStudioWorkWork, a multi-disciplinary studio for art, research, design and project management, with a focus on a range of social justice issues, while lecturing part time in the Department of Visual Arts, Wits School of Arts, Johannesburg. Research areas include issues arising from new forms of technology that shape, manipulate or augment our experiences of and our existence within the world, emerging forms of surveillance capitalism and questions on the new world of work, with a focus on ideas of precarious labour, exhaustion, and productivity.

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