Office for Workspace Studies

About

The Office for Workspace Studies is a temporary residency / presentation space / thinking entity dedicated to highlighting and reflecting on aspects of performativity and politics of labour in the contemporary western post-fordist context.

Program

Program

The Kickoff

January 31st 2017
François Girard-Meunier

Presentation of Where I Love The Sound of Your Voice Is Not A Pick-Up Line…

[...] I was presented with the company’s purpose, the scope of the tasks entailed by the vacature I was about to fill. I could even be promoted like this veteran employee that got promoted and that everybody keeps talking about, as a ghostly reminder within this fast-paced environment that not everybody here is predestined to failure and that we could, who knows, become the hero of our own personal story. For a moment I did let myself imagine my life within the company…

19h30 - 21h00

Reservation by email required:
officeforworkspacestudies@gmail.com

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Program

Talent at Work

March 29th 2017
Mirjam Reili and François Girard-Meunier

The term 'talent' has been an ever-increasingly used term within the field of human ressources. Within that context, the talent is somebody that has an unique set of skills which is lent to its employer and used according to the company’s purpose. Mirjam Reili and François Girard-Meunier managed to learn how talented they were through several job opportunities (in call centers, within the hospitality industry…). There, they were remembered about how much their unique abilities within these specific labor contexts were to be seen as innate gifts that shouldn't be spoiled.

Talent at Work is a presentation which the result of thinking about issues of language use within the workspace for the purpose of employee engagement.

19h00 - 21h00

Location: fanfare (http://fanfarefanfare.nl/)
Address: Bilderdijkstraat 165B, Amsterdam
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Program

You've Been Notified

May 27th 2017
François Girard-Meunier

Reading-performance of You've Been Notified

[...] As usual, I click on ‘view.’ But is it important? I hope it’s not, I’d rather sleep. I was curious, even though it’s only the group conversation from the place I work at. I read the discussion: it revolves around newly ordered toilet paper which is not thick enough. I’m provided with a bunch of pictures of lower grade toilet paper rolls over a background of black ceramic tiles. “This is bad,” a co-worker argues. Another one declares, “we should seek better quality next time.” [ ✓ Seen 03:07 AM ]

18h - 21h47

Part of The Weathers They Live In
Location: puntWG (http://puntwg.nl)
Address: WG Plein t/o nr 80, Amsterdam
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Program

Performing And Mediating Workspaces

June 16th 2017
A panel discussion with
François Girard-Meunier & Lisa Sudhibhasilp,
Alina Lupu, and Radna Rumping.

Preceded by three readings: From The Dancehall: Observations (François Girard-Meunier & Lisa Sudhibhasilp), An Artist Never Cares About Money (Alina Lupu), You're The Only Pro I Know (Radna Rumping)

[...] There’s a slight twitch when I cross the street and I lock eyes with someone I know - a curator, a former student, an employed performer. There’s another twitch, this time of delight, when I end up picking an order from a restaurant where a curator, a former student, an employed performer works. (AL)

19h30 - 20h30

Part of the Critical Studies End Of Year Programme
Location: Butcher's Tears
Address: Karperweg 45, Amsterdam
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Program

Flexible Bodies

September 28th 2017
François Girard-Meunier

Reading-performance of Flexible Bodies (Blame It On The Bones).

[...] Exercising the body, one develops a sense of self- awareness. This is my body. I can control it. At this very moment. For a brief moment, I become the master of myself. Is this temporary mastering, this gesture of self-care, a way to deal with the upcoming challenges caused by another type of flexibility? Is it therefore a form of maintenance?

19h30 (Installation on display from 28/09 until 01/10)

Part of the Estonian Photographic Art Fair 2017
Location: Telliskivi Creative City Green hall
Address: Telliskivi 60a, Tallinn

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Program

The Future Of Work

November 5th 2018
A proposal by Alina Lupu & François Girard-Meunier

The Future Of Work is a conceptual proposal for the 16th’s International Venice Biennale Dutch Pavilion Open Call, themed Work, Body, Leisure. Its aim is to submit the producers and audience of the pavilion to a regime of self-subjectification (visibility, availability, flexibility) in the likes of online ‘gig economy’ platforms.

[...] In order to achieve this, we will commission the making of an online work and social platform, which will contain avatars for all of the team involved in the curating and realizing of the Biennial: from artists, theoreticians, graphic designers, printers to cleaners, interns, etc. All social transactions will be mapped out and the rating system will further help make viewers aware of which people within the organization come in contact and how their exchanges work out.

The project will make visible the full structure of working relations that props up the making of the Dutch Venice Pavilion. We aim to allow for the possibility of each to acknowledge the different ladders of responsibility, rewards, entanglements and overall binding conditions of work, into which one signs up when signing a contract.


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Program

Handshakes and So On (The Interview)

November 29th 2017
François Girard-Meunier

Reading-performance of Handshakes and So On (The Interview).

[...] How to arrive at the appointment? Dressed in which manner? Ideally in advance? A bit early, but not too early. Five minutes is a recommendation: just enough time to prevent a sweaty appearance. The ritual of the handshake, likely unavoidable, will benefit from dry hands. Can one’s personality be read through the act of shaking hands?

19h00 - 21h00

Part of How Did It Come So Far, an exhibition initiated by Lisa Sudhibhasilp with works by Rudy Guedj, Vytautas Kumža, Alina Lupu, Anne-Laure Ruffin, Marius Schwarz, Lisa Sudhibhasilp and Jessie Yingying Gong.
Address: Helicopterstraat 8, Amsterdam
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Program

We Don’t Know What We’re Doing,
But We’re Doing It Anyway


April 9th 2018
Two readings by Alina Lupu & François Girard-Meunier

Reading of the text An Inventory Of Waged And Unwaged Activities, 1989 – 2018.

An Inventory Of Waged And Unwaged Activities, 1989 – 2018 is a written piece cataloguing the various instances of labour that happened during my life, making visible the parameters under which they happened. The duo presentation (together with Alina Lupu) was wrapped by a generous check delivery with the involuntary collaboration of Den Norske Bank.

19h00 - 22h30 (reading starts at 20h00)

Part of We Don’t Know What We’re Doing, But We’re Doing It Anyway, in the context of the Kunsthøgskolen i Oslo’s Åpent Forum under the invite of Helle Lindskog and Jo Mikkel Sjaastad Huse.

Location: Khartoum Contemporary Art Centre
Address: Bernt Ankers gate 17, 0183 Oslo

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Program

Cultural Practices ⁓ Property Speculation?

June 15th 2018
A series of readings with Alina Lupu, François Girard-Meunier,
and Timo Demollin


Reading-performance of On Being Priced Out.

[...] I’m heading up towards a launch event organized by a friend held at a place that describes itself as a “24-hours licensed initiative in Amsterdam-West, open 7 days a week as a club, a music venue, a restaurant, a cafe and an exhibition space.” Once in, I realize I have a hard time to socialize. I can’t enjoy myself. I look around. Too many familiar faces. Mentally, I’m still in my room writing, thinking and binge-watching materials about the neighborhood’s ‘ embourgeoisement’. I’d like to smash some windows, but no one would get my frustration. A few days later, I think about it. I should write bad reviews.

19h30 - 20h30

Part of the Critical Studies End Of Year Programme
Location: Butcher's Tears
Address: Karperweg 45, Amsterdam
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Program

All Work No Play

July 5th - 7th 2018
François Girard-Meunier and Ingrid Rousseau,
with the participants of A School A Park
[…]

Three day workshop at A School A Park, a graphic design themed summer school in Montreal.

[...] During the next three days, we will be interested by your personal subjective labour experiences, trying to decipher moments of either exploitation, community, association, revendication, or acknowledgement. You might all have had diverse shared and individual experiences either relating to part-time jobs, gendered division of labour, instances of emotional labour, unpaid labour... We’ll consider bottom-up, auto-ethnographic methodologies, and acknowledge subjective experiences and theory on a par level.

Presentation on July 7th, 19h00
See the results of the workshop:
www.allworknoplay.a-school-a-park.ca

Location: Vie D'Ange / 820 Plaza
Address: 6820 rue Marconi, Montréal

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Documentation

2017/08/01

Yes No and Other Options.
I Can’t.
The Beauty of Latency.
Just in Time.
The Exuberant I Can.

Performance is all about timing. A comedian with a bad sense of timing is not funny, a musician useless. Career opportunities, we are
 told, are all about being in the right place at
the right time, and so, perhaps, is finding a lover. Is there a right time for love?

2017/06/25

I am one of the chosen few who’s still employed (soon to be counted out as self-employed) from around 20,000 food delivery couriers working for this one particular company. But if you look at the stats, there are more of us, spread out in around 6 (is it?) food delivery services all enjoying our freedom of movement and freedom from stability.

2017/06/15

We dance in groups, as you can guess by our matching outfits. Our choreography is punctuated by the sound of the bells coming from the kitchen.

‘Hi… how many people?’ is likely to be my catchphrase, my way of approaching you. I have a voice, a smile, eyes and a body. They communicate a variety of tones and feelings which will be constitutive of our relationship for the upcoming hour.

Our relationship had the ambiguity of being something more but proved to be strictly transactional. I was like pinnen of cash? You were like betaalkaart. I was like Dank U wel. We were both like, Fijne Avond, Tot ziens… And that was the end of it.

2017/06/12

I live in second thoughts. But there’s a slight numbing down which relates to how the body controls the mind while in process. I wonder, am I being paid to exercise? Remember what they say!

2017/06/02

It has now been a few hours that I’ve been lying in my bed. I am still not sleeping. I impulsively grab my phone, which I also use as an alarm clock, and click on its unlock button to see the current time. 3:00 AM. Six notifications: all from the same group conversation. [ (1) ]

2017/05/29

French workers win 'right to disconnect' from work emails at home. From 1 January, workers have ‘right to disconnect’ from work emails as the scale of ‘burn-out’ among employees draws government concern.

Globally, the expectation of women being the main providers of 'unpaid care' labor has been socially constructed and enforced by gender norms. Even when women are employed full-time outside the house, they may perform a greater share of household chores and childcare activities.

As a result of globalization, women have increasingly been expected to take on jobs in both the paid and unpaid sectors, contributing to family income while still being the main providers of unpaid labor.

2017/05/22

Every service-oriented exchange, including those with online “bots” and faraway call-center employees, is meant to enfold you in cozy, infantilizing warmth, while every corporate employee, real and fake, is open to “feedback” and evaluation on those grounds. The entire tech economy boasts of its identity as some post-hippie countercultural space, familiar to us now as visionary and disruptive of corporate business-as-usual.

In these work documents, a now-common formula after the still-formal “Dear,” is “I hope this message finds you well,” an intrusion into the personal that is both empty and confusing, and no more meaningful than an air kiss.

2017/05/12

They say it's friendship. We say it's unwaged work. With every like, chat, tag or poke our subjectivity turns them a profit. They call it sharing. We call it stealing. We've been bound by their terms of service far too long - it's time for our terms.

2017/03/24

In the Parable of the Minas, which appears in the New Testament (Matthew 25:14-25:30), a lazy servant searches for his buried talent, while two other servants present their earnings to their master. What is to be remembered is the following, talent is better being put at used that kept for yourself. Talent shouldn’t be spoiled.

2017/01/22

The routine is set. The repetition makes it flat. I’m okay, I’m alright. I guess so. People can say whatever on the phone, I don’t care much anymore (100% resilient!). Hang up and I’ll call you again. Hang up again and I’ll call you again again.

2017/01/20
2017/01/17

Contact

Office:
Aakstraat 72
1034 BP Amsterdam
The Netherlands

email:
officeforworkspacestudies@gmail.com