Working on the working conditions

with Naadira Patel. Variations Part II. "Again, this is a kind of monologue, or a conversation between myself and the internet, the very thing that allows me to work, make work, think about work, and yet distracts and interrupts all day."

working condition02

Working on this work was a little more difficult than the previous one. In trying to reflect and make commentary on “the present” as I had suggested I would do and hoped I could, I realised I was faced with the fear of an impossible task - reflecting on the present, while still being very much embedded in the confusion of the now. In addition to this was the realisation, and not a very nice one, that the work has the potential to become a contrived gimmick - a repetition, formulaic, funny only in so far as it sort of reflects reality but doesn’t take it any further. What to do then when faced with the difficulty of making work that responds acutely to the times, while also turning the times into content, the very thing I despise about how we deal with information and knowledge these days: content. Content to fill our brains and timelines and TIME during the day. But we forget about or negate or get lazy for substance.

Again, this is a kind of monologue, or a conversation between myself and the internet, the very thing that allows me to work, make work, think about work, and yet distracts and interrupts all day.

This piece is an attempt to think about the task at hand, to go in search of new methods for imagining a new world where ones labour and time and productive energy is not coopted, but liberated.

 

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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