Desk Dilemmas: Labour Pains and Pleasures

Work · Leisure · Human · Machine · Hyper-industrial

Work is the lending of one’s time in exchange for a salary and for the right to enjoy the products of labour and nature. In scarcity contexts, people are obliged to work to buy their basic survival but in the Western context of excess, work has become something else. It is now a core element of our identity, a hybrid of dedication and alienation, power and oppression, pride and shame, fulfilment and drudgery. These mixed feelings and the introduction of digital media in the workplace are promoting a feeling of schizophrenia around work and, simultaneously, blurring the distinctions between work and leisure, producer and consumer. Material goods, services, supply chains, applications, software and hardware become part of a coherent whole — according to Bernard Stiegler symptoms of the hyper-industrial world we live in. 

Desk Dilemmas: Labour Pains and Pleasures, invites the viewer to explore a digital archipelago of current work paradigms. The user’s interaction reveals an implicit critique to the exploitation and precarity that each of them perpetuates. Through the metaphorical potential of the artworks that inspired the process of representation, the critique is extended. Ultimately, the project aims to start a reflection on the influence of digital media in invisible labour, labour flexibilization, playbour, refusal of labour, remote labour and the end of labour.

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