From zero-hours contracts to universal basic income, labour has become a crucial question for our times. Join guest editor Friederike Sigler, alongside members of the Precarious Workers Brigade, a UK-based group of precarious workers in culture and education, to consider the key questions of work in relation to contemporary art.
Through campaigning, practical tools and publishing, the Precarious Workers Brigade offer solidarity within arts and culture, finding ways to navigate and challenge the climate of instability and enforced austerity in the sector.
This talk considers strategies that grapple with the complexities of being an art worker in the new economy, a postproducer, a collaborator, a fabricator, a striker, an ethical campaigner, or would-be transformer of labour from oppression to liberation.
This event launches Work, the latest anthology in the Documents of Contemporary Art Series published by the Whitechapel Gallery and MIT press.
Friederike Sigler is a researcher and lecturer at the Hochschule für Bildende Künst, Dresden. She is guest editor of Documents of Contemporary Art: Work (2017) and the author of Work/Strike (2017).
PWB is a collective of precarious workers in culture and education, which includes activists, artists, gallery educators, curators and researchers. Since 2010 the collective has been organising around issues of free and precarious labour in the arts, education and the so-called creative industries. Their work spans across a wide range of actions, including the making of Carrot Workers’ Counter-Guide to Internships, Training for Exploitation? Politicising Employability and Reclaiming Education and the organising of a People’s Tribunal on Precarity. Through these and other tools, PWB seeks to expose how universities and art institutions play a pivotal role in setting up and normalising free and precarious labour/life regimes across the cultural sector.