Office space

Kollectiv, Galia and Kollectiv, Pil (2015) Office space. [Show/Exhibition]


Office Space cleverly subverts contemporary office culture as a means of exploring labor practices in the 21st century’s post-industrial economy. As offices become mobile, and the nine-to-five becomes a nonstop 24-hour cycle, this exhibition reflects on what the Italian theorist Maurizio Lazzarato has identified as the rise of “immaterial labor” in developed, post-industrial countries. Citing the predominance of a service and information economy, as well as the rapidly dissolving line between pleasure and work among consumers and workers alike, Lazzarato describes “immaterial labor” as all the ways and means by which goods and services acquire their “informational and cultural content.” He argues that this move has radically modified the management and regulation of the workforce.

Through video, sculpture, painting, and installation, the artists in Office Space interrogate universally recognized aspects of office architecture, design, aesthetics, and protocols as a means of understanding the shift toward immaterial labor practices. Numerous approaches toward the re-engineering of work and life are on display, from outright dissent to the status quo, such as the portrayal of a Deloitte intern’s refusal to work in Pilvi Takala’s The Trainee (2008), to humorous hacks, like the continual out-of-office loop in Cory Arcangel’s Permanent Vacation (2008). Across all these works, the office becomes emblematic of the changing terrain for labor and productivity in the 21st century.

Artists: Cory Arcangel, Mark Benson, KP Brehmer, Joseph DeLappe, Alex Dordoy, Harun Farocki, Bea Fremderman, Idle Screenings (with works by Stephanie Davidson, Jacob Broms Engblom, Manuel Fernandez, Paul Flannery, Kim Laughton, and Jasper Spicero), Joel Holmberg, Josh Kline, Pil and Galia Kollectiv, Julien Prévieux, Laurel Ptak, Sean Raspet, Mika Tajima, Pilvi Takala, Ignacio Uriarte, Andrew Norman Wilson, and Haegue Yang.

Exhibition Tour
Exhibition Tour_ 'Office Space' at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts - Frontpage - e-flux conversations.pdf - Published Version

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