What is the work of art in the art of work? How can I perform well while being utterly useless? As contemporary work conditions move foreword to measure the worker in every intimate way - his/her satisfaction, happiness, and growth - what is affective residue of the work of an artist? Can the workplace become not the setting for the work, but of art itself?
Manifesto For How To Occupy -
Collapse, become indistinct or intentionally inverted.
Oscillate between visibility and invisibility. Choose your moments, timing is of essence here.
Persevere with useless tasks - dig a hole, then cover it. Walk in purposeful circularity. Stare into your cubicle, into your laptop screen, indefinitely. Take the elevator up, then down, for your entire work-shift.
Shift incessantly, in your chair, in a meeting, at lunch. Look nervous.
Ask questions. Inquire, needlessly. Pick out a detail, obsess over it.
Make duplicates when you can. As many as you can. Duplicate files, folders, parts of code, error reports, emails, texts. Encourage others around to duplicate all they can.
Make speeches. Talk as frequently as possible and at great length. Illustrate through abstraction.
Leaky Folds conflates the topographical measure of contemporary workplace with our psychological spreads, that of artists immersed, and waged. Having sought mock-employment in one of India's biggest software firms, we appeared as workers at various locations across the company's campus - at doorways and in elevators, in fire exits and at secure access points, during night shifts and as shadows of colleagues. We encountered narratives of data secrecy, offshore sites, and recurring crises, as we learnt to perform digital service work. Often, we performed disruptions within the workplace - exercises in abstraction, uselessness, and work-lessness. We assemble notes from this 6-months long immersion in these leaky folds. Read these perforations as our first-hand comment on the spreadability of digital capital, obsession with logistics and automation, and the messy reality of a post colonial world. Can we reconsider notions of value, leisure, performance, and acceleration, and seek to dither, to un-measure? When the body leaks, data leaks too.
Performed by Amitesh Grover & Arnika Ahldag | Photography by Ishan Tankha | Material Folded & Perforated Booklet | Designed by Oh!Design (Sudeep) | Originally commissioned for the exhibition Hangar For The Passerby, Kiran Nadar Museum of Art.