Work + Work + Workshop

29 Apr

Hot on the heels of his gentrification festival earlier this month, tomorrow VAMA alumnus Roel Griffioen is organizing an evening of talks and discussion on the topic of work, and VAMA student Kim Kannler is among the participants:

Everything is fluid, flexible and for free in our current ‘Farewellfare State’ – even work. In the 1960s and 1970s artists like Constant, Provo, and Beuys in Europe, Fluxus in the US and Massota in Argentina have called for the blurring of art into life and work into play. Today their dreams have eerily materialized into the prevailing post-Fordist service economy, which feeds on creativity, mobility, and elasticity, rendering every subject into a nomadic, project hopping life-artist, looking for opportunities and livin’ la vida loca.

Roll up your sleeves and join us on April 30 – the day before international MayDay and Labor Day celebrations – for an evening with talks and discussions on work. How is Joseph Beuys’s motto “everybody is an artist” revamped and repackaged in the so-called New Economy? How are local patterns of precarity, invisible labor and social abuse mirrored in or entangled with the global Panta Rei of flowing labor and capital in the world economy? What is work today, and how is it represented in a time in which labor is immaterialized, outsourced or automatized, in other words: vanishing from sight? Are photography, art, design, and journalism still effective as means to expose exploitation and to render visible immaterial labor? Can these media cope with the growing complexities and abstractions of the global economy?

Art historian Kim Kannler presents her research project exploring the labor conditions and mobility in China through the lens of filmmaker Jia Zhangke. Journalist Łukasz Koterba will discuss labor migration from Poland to the Netherlands. Front Line-participant Roel Griffioen will give a brief introduction into the workers’-photography movement in the 1920s and 1930s, which encouraged the documentation of proletarian working and housing conditions through amateur photography. Finally, Marc Roig Blesa and Rogier Delfos will present their ongoing project Werker Magazine, which is both a contextual publication about photography and labor, and a domestic worker photographer network.

Practices and research projects will be shared and discussed in open environment. We would like to invite you to contribute by sharing your own ideas regarding the representation of labor.

work + work + workshop, April 30th, 19:30 at Tetterode M4, Da Costakade 158 Amsterdam. To RSVP please send an email to:


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