With the development of new technologies — particularly the smartphone — the working hours of the employed are even encroaching on their leisure time and personal lives, escalating stress and burnout without increasing productivity. Artists, whose activities are perceived, often with envy, as free and little constrained by routine, are also facing these changes. Not only do the demands of being visible in a competitive world require knowing how to manage one’s activities like a business, in terms of organization and communication, but most artists often also face the reality of taking jobs in order to “make ends meet.” In their art practices, some artists are increasingly implicating themselves in the reality of the working world. They sometimes even intervene directly by becoming employers in order to better highlight its aberrations or attempt to generate unproductive time. In this, they are anticipating a world without work, in which freed time would allow for the creation of individual and collective projects, and thus helping to redefine “work” as something no longer determined by the earning of wages.3 3 - This is compatible with accelerationist theories. See Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams, Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work (Brooklyn: Verso Books, 2016).
This article also appears in the issue 94 - LabourDiscover