Manuel Boutet, Bojana Cvejić, Bernardo Gouthier-Macedo, Stefano Mirti

Immaterial Work

In the panel discussion Immaterial Work, sociologist Manuel Boutet discusses the gap between work and play in contemporary society. In today’s information-based existence, work increasingly appeals to human plasticity, utilizing technology and virtual gathering spaces to experiment and uncover new avenues to address key issues of modern cosmopolitanism.

Performer and dramaturg Bojana Cvejić scrutinizes the transformation of contemporary performance from implying physical fatigue to being influenced by business models, structural organization, and authorship due to the rise of open source technology. Cvejić concludes that the concept of immaterial labor blurs divisions between work, technology, and social life.

The economist Bernardo Gouthier-Macedo examines work from an economist’s point of view, questioning whether “immaterial work” is an appropriate description. He considers rigid institutional frameworks, and how prevailing computerization undermines them, with progressive practices such as the arts playing a greater role in sociopolitical change.

Designer Stefano Mirti presents a contribution comprised of 15 stories from 15 unrelated people, using this unconventional material as the source for his papercraft project that builds a model city. He inverts normative working methods – beginning with details and letting them dictate the process – rather than being led by a larger theory. Mirti is less focused on having a finished product than on emphasizing interaction and a looser modus operandi in keeping with ever-changing realities.

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