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Do or Delegate

Entrepreneurial Means and Precarious Ends

Onomatopee 170

Now that the prospect of full automation is once again getting traction, the shared hope is to delegate every task to intelligent machines. But as we await the full takeover of smart robots, work is delegated to machines and humans alike. It makes no difference to companies and entrepreneurs: while some machines begin to look human-like, some humans are disguised as machines, by means of seamless interface design or blatant deception. This is what Astra Taylor calls fauxtomation*.

"Do or Delegate” probes the asymmetrical power relationships shaping the ever-evolving landscape of work, which is still, for better or for worse, the foundation of the economy. Thus, the exhibition focuses on the present of work, a time when work is as present as ever. In this context, work is conceived as a dynamic resource that can be performed, delegated, outsourced, crowdsourced, transformed, destabilized, disguised, displaced, concealed and revealed, rejected and reclaimed.

What happens when social media users become neurons of a hive-mind ready to be consulted, when most endeavors become services that can be commissioned and purchased online, when people become software extensions, when online marketplaces shrink the global geography of freelancing. Where and how is value extraction taking place?
Ever since Laszlo Moholy-Nagy “ordered” his paintings by dictating instructions via telephone**, the idea that the artist should be the material executor of the artwork increasingly grew out of fashion. While this issue has been mostly understood within the frame of authorship, “Do or Delegate” recognises it first and foremost as a work-related matter. More specifically, the exhibition questions the entrepreneurial shift from art to art direction. What kind of labor goes into art? Who are the ones performing it? Which activities, side-jobs, formal and informal economies constitute or limit a practice?

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Alongside the exhibition, Onomatopee will publish Entreprecariat by Silvio Lorusso, with a preface by Geert Lovink and a postface by Raffaele Alberto Ventura. The book, which will be launched this fall, explores and maps out the current entrepreneurial ideology from a precarious perspective. The Entreprecariat indicates a reality where change is natural and healthy, whatever it may bring. A reality populated by motivational posters, productivity tools, mobile offices and self-help techniques. A reality in which a mix of entrepreneurial ideology and widespread precarity is what regulates professional social media, online marketplaces for self-employment and crowdfunding platforms for personal needs. The result? A life in permanent beta, with sometimes tragic implications.

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* Astra Taylor, “The Automation Charade”, Logic #5, 2018,  https://logicmag.io/05-the-automation-charade/
** Some of Moholy-Nagy’s “Telephone Pictures” are collected by the Museum of Modern Art of New York, https://www.moma.org/collection/works/78747

Agenda

Publication

Onomatopee 170, Silvio Lorusso, 2019

Entreprecariat

everyone is an entrepreneur nobody is safe

€ 18

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Entrepreneur or precarious worker? These are the terms of a cognitive dissonance that turns everyone’s life into a shaky project in perennial start-up phase. Silvio Lorusso guides us through the entreprecariat, a world where change is natural and healthy, whatever it may bring. A world populated by motivational posters, productivity tools, mobile offices and self-help techniques. A world in which a mix of entrepreneurial ideology and widespread precarity is what regulates professional social media, online marketplaces for self-employment and crowdfunding platforms for personal needs. The result? A life in permanent beta, with sometimes tragic implications.

With a foreword by Geert Lovink and an afterword by Raffaele Alberto Ventura.

“A compelling and relentless j’accuse: debunking the social and political myths that push an increasing number of persons to perform in the entrepreneurship circus — with no safety nets.”
Antonio Casilli, author of En attendant les robots, 2019

 

 

Type
Softcover
Dimensions
105 x 170 mm / 4.1 x 6.7 inches (portrait)
Pages
260
ISBN
978-94-93148-16-1
Editor
Silvio Lorusso
Author
Silvio Lorusso, Geert Lovink, Raffaele Alberto Ventura
Graphic
Federico Antonini and Alessio D’Ellena (Superness.info)
Language
English
Release date
19/10/2019
Binding
Sewn and glued
Paper
Munken print white 250 gr cover and Munken print white 80gr 1,8 inside.
Color
2/2 (black + yellow pantone)
Font
Monument Grotesk by abcdinamo.com and ITC Garamond Condensed
Image specs
68 full color images, 5 black/white
Details
1+0 glossy foil all over cover/spine/back cover
Text editor
Josh Plough
Proofreader
Josh Plough
Photography of the book
Blickfanger
Made possible by
Onomatopee, Province of Noord-Brabant, Cultuur Eindhoven and Mondriaan Foundation
more specs

PEOPLE INVOLVED IN THIS PROJECT AND ALL THE ROLES THESE PEOPLE EVER HAD IN ONOMATOPEE PROJECTS