Eric Golo Stone: Provision of Work Services in the Political Economy of Art
It is well known that the art sector actively invents and socially legitimizes hyper-individualistic, hyper-atomized, hyper-precarious labor conditions. The field of cultural production is exemplary of those industries that rely entirely on sub-contracted, freelance, and part-time work forces. How might we intervene in the consequential legal-economic structures that govern working conditions and lived relations in the field of art?
In his presentation, Eric Golo Stone will address this question by specifically looking at how service provision—a form of commodified labor that is contracted out entirely on demand—has transformed businesses and organizations (i.e art institutions) into contracting agencies that shift the costs of health benefits, legal protections, and tax contributions onto the worker. While these legally ratified exemptions for employers have made the provision of work services the dominant labor management model across the global economy, it is the art sector that can offer us particular insights into why this model has become so pervasive and what might be done to resist this model.
Eric Golo Stone is a writer, curator, and artist whose varied practices consistently examine the political economy of art. His writing has been published in Afterall, October, and Texte zur Kunst, among other publications, and he is editor of the newly published book, The Services Working Group, which revisits the seminal working group exhibition entitled Services that was organized by Helmut Draxler and Andrea Fraser in 1994. Eric Golo Stone is currently artistic director at the Künstlerhaus Stuttgart.
Silvio Lorusso: The Elephant in the Device. One Entreprecarious Platform, Many POVs
In his book Entreprecariat: Everyone is an Entrepreneur. Nobody is Safe (2019), Silvio Lorusso argued that digital platforms such as professional social media, online marketplaces for freelancers and crowdfunding services, not only reveal but also exacerbate a highly rhetorical narrative around work: precarious labour presented as an entrepreneurial hero journey of autonomy and self-determination.
In this talk Lorusso will focus on Fiverr.com, “the freelance services marketplace for the lean entrepreneur” and explore it from various point of views, such as that of the worker, that of the buyer, that of the media. This way, he hope to shed a light on that hyperobject we call a platform. What does fauxtonomy look like? What does Fiverr’s interface tell us of the global composition of its workforce? What’s the role of news media when it comes to presenting gig-economy services to the public?
Silvio Lorusso is a writer, artist and designer based in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. In 2018 he published his first book entitled Entreprecariat. He is an assistant professor and vice-director of the Centre for Other Worlds at the Lusófona University in Lisbon. Lorusso holds a Ph.D. in Design Sciences from the Iuav University of Venice.