Out of Office
This isn’t working for us
— 30 April 2023
Location: IMPAKT Centre for Media Culture
Wednesday till Sunday from 12:00 – 17:00
Every Saturday: Pointlessness Coordinator, 14:00 – 16:00
€5,- (Regular) or €4,- (Discount CJP, Upas, Student, <18)
Extended till 30 April
Our schedules are packed. We define ourselves by our work. And we are constantly exhausted. The excesses of today’s technology-driven work culture are familiar to everyone – efficiency has become the norm and permanent availability a given. From 10 February till 30 April 2023, the IMPAKT Exhibition Out of Office presents a collection of artistic responses that reveal, rethink and reject the constant drive towards exploitative productivity. How can we carve out space to catch our breath?
Technological advances didn’t create a future that frees humans from labour after all. Instead we see management algorithms optimising labour efficiency without concern for the people who do the work. We see apps and platforms pushing us to become the ‘best’ (read: most productive) version of ourselves. In our current neoliberal society, we’re constantly either working or thinking about work, or else feeling guilty about not working. The title Out of Office will be familiar from those auto-reply emails informing us of the sender’s non-availability, but it can also be read as a reference to how work follows us wherever we go. The pandemic accentuated existing problems on the labour market, and opened the eyes of many. People started to reconsider their priorities in life and work and new terms like ‘the great resignation’ and ‘quiet quitting’ are now common.
The artists in the exhibition reflect on their own position and current conditions in the workplace. They question standard practices and explore the subversive potential of conventions such as the auto-reply, the CV and the eight-hour workday. Jobs requires us to perform – in the sense of successfully carrying out desired tasks but also in the sense of acting. Building on this inherent performativity of the roles we take up at work, Out of Office explores actions for critique and resistance. In the modern workplace context, doing nothing, not showing up, or gestures of mutual support become acts of resistance against a system in which profit, efficiency, and optimisation are central. How to extend such resistance to foster collective action and solidarity?
With artworks by: Art Goss, Alina Lupu, Sam Meech, Adrian Melis, Mario Santamaría, Tytus Szabelski, Pilvi Takala, Total Refusal, 996.icu
Curator: Marijn Bril
Exhibition design: Zalán Szakács
With support of: City of Utrecht, Creative Industries Fund NL, Mondriaan Fund, Fentener van Vlissingen Fonds and the Creative Europe Culture Programme of the European Union.
You are invited to the official opening of Out of Office on:
Friday 10 February
18:00 – 20:00
IMPAKT (Lange Nieuwstraat 4, Utrecht)
With a new performance by Art Goss. Art Goss is a platform for high effort art gossip, presenting critical narratives and observations on institutions, structures, and phenomena within the Dutch cultural sector.
WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY: A PERFORMANCE BY ART GOSS
On 23 March invite you to the second performance by Art Goss as part of the exhibition Out of Office. WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY is an in-progress textile work that Art Goss creates over the course of the exhibition.
Thursday 23 March
20:00 – 21:00
Location: IMPAKT (Lange Nieuwstraat 4, Utrecht)
Art Goss― Artist
Art Goss is a platform for high effort art gossip, founded in November 2020 by artists/writers Marthe Prins & Lua Vollaard. Art Goss publishes critical narratives and observations on institutions, structures, and phenomena within the Dutch cultural sector and materialises them through instagram, performance and exhibition making. Born out of the inequalities and institutionalised violences of the art world, Art Goss reclaims gossip as a force of legitimate, political knowledge production.
Alina Lupu― Artist
Alina Lupu was born and raised in Romania, and works as a writer and artist in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Her work has been shown at: W139, Amsterdam; Onomatopee, Eindhoven; Hotel Maria Kapel, Hoorn; Drugo More, Rijeka; Rheum Room, Basel; European Lab, Lyon; Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, Berlin, and Goethe Institut, Bucharest. She is a general board member of Platform BK, an organization that researches the role of art in society, a student of the Master Photography and Society at the KABK, The Hague, and a research fellow with the Lectorate Art and Spatial Practice at the Rietveld Academie.
Sam Meech― Artist
Sam Meech is an artist, researcher and former educator with a background in moving image, digital design and community arts.
Since 2013 he has worked extensively with machine-knitting, creating a series of physical textile artworks that explore collaborative design, data visualisation, craftivism and gentrification, and critical analyses of artistic and academic labor.
He has previously shown work as part of ‘Time and Motion: Redefining Working Life’ (FACT, Liverpool, 2013), and written about artistic labour for the Pause for Thought project - ‘Working 5 to 9: What a way to make a living’.
In December 2022, he quit his role as a full-time professor (LTA) in the Studio Arts department at Concordia University and has now moved to a 4 day week working as a technician for an artist-run centre.
Adrian Melis― Artist
Adrian Melis Sosa (1985. b. Havana, Cuba) is a multidisciplinary artist, based in Cuba and Europe. Between 2005 and 2010, Melis studied printmaking at the University of Arts in Havana. During this period, his artistic practice was shaped by the intensive program ‘Catedra of Behavioural Art’ directed by artist internationally-acclaimed artist Tania Bruguera. He is a former resident of the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten of Amsterdam (2014/2015). He is currently teaching at Berlin Art Institute, Berlin, Germany. He has exhibited in several museums and institutions including, among others at Kunsthalle Basel (Basel, Switzerland); Museum of Modern Art of Warsaw (Warsaw, Poland); Wiels Brussels (Belgium); Centre Pompidou (Paris, France); Pinchuk Art Center (Kyiv, Ukraine); Pori Art Museum (Pori, Finland); De Appel Center (Amsterdam, The Netherlands); Queens Museum (NY, USA), Rotterdam Film Festival (Rotterdam, The Netherlands) and the 10th Shanghai Biennale (Shanghai, China). Since 2010 he is represented by ADN Galería (Barcelona, Spain) where his solo exhibitions in 2012 and 2013, were awarded the ‘Art Nou’ Award by the Association of Galleries Barcelona and the ‘GAC Award’ (MACBA) for Best Exhibition in a Private Gallery, respectively. He exhibited with ADN Galería in several art fairs including ARCO Madrid, LOOP Barcelona, Art Brussels, Artissima, FIAC Officielle and VOLTA10. His work is in private and public collections, including Pori Art Museum (Finland); MAS Santander (Spain); MACBA Barcelona (Spain); Fundación Cerezales Antonino y Cinia (Spain), Collection Patrick Chiche (Belgium); Collection Los Bragales, Jaime R. Sordo (Spain); Collection Alain Servais (Belgium); Collection Lemaître (France); Collection A. de Galbert (France) and Collection Teixeira de Freitas (Portugal).
Mario Santamaría― Artist
Mario Santamaría works across a wide range of media, frequently using photography, video, performance, websites and online interventions. In recent years his work focuses on tactics to embody distribution protocols, performing actions such as physically travelling to his website by repeating the data path; going for beers around the city as a Google algorithm or founding a tour operator based on the Internet physical infrastructure. His work has been shown among others in: ZKM Karlsruhe, WKV Stuttgart, MACBA Barcelona, CENART Mexico, Arebyte London, Les Rencontres d'Arles and C/O Berlin.
Tytus Szabelski-Różniak― Artist
Tytus Szabelski-Różniak – born in 1991, photographer and visual artist. Graduated journalism and social communication at Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, Poland, and photography at the University of Arts in Poznań, where he received PhD degree in 2021. Finalist of Polish and international contests for best art master’s diploma work (e.g StartPoint Prize 2016 in Prague, Czechia). Laureate of Konrad Pustoła memory scholarship for socially engaged photographer (2017), awarded with Visegrad Fund Sound and Visual Arts Residency (Trafó Gallery, Budapest, 2021) and Biennale Warszawa residency (2020). Participant of Parallel – European Photo Based Platform (2019–2020) and Visual Narratives Laboratory at Łodź Filmschool, where he currently works. Former editor of online art and photography magazines “Magenta”, “Postmedium” and “BLOK”. His works are part of Arsenal Municipal Gallery in Poznań art collection and Raffles Europejski Hotel in Warsaw art collection. His main fields of interest are landscape, man-made infrastructures, labour, the digital and all the various ways those subjects are shaped and relate to politics, capital and ideology.
Pilvi Takala― Artist
Pilvi Takala is an artist living and working between Berlin and Helsinki. Her video works are based on performative interventions in which she researches specific communities in order to process social structures and question the normative rules of our behaviour. Her works show that it is often possible to learn about the implicit rules of a social situation only by its disruption. Her work has been shown at Seoul Mediacity Biennale (2021), Moscow Museum of Modern Art (2021), CCA Glasgow (2016), Manifesta 11 (2016), Centre Pompidou (2015), MoMA PS1 (2014), Palais de Tokyo (2013) and New Museum (2012).
Total Refusal― Artist
The pseudo-marxist media guerilla Total Refusal explores and practices strategies for artistic intervention in contemporary computer games. It works with tools of appropriation and rededication of game resources. Since its foundation in 2018 the collective has been awarded with numerous prizes like the Diagonale Film Award for the Best Short Doc, the Contemporary Visual Arts Award of Styria Province and Vimeo Staff Pick Award among others. Total Refusal has been screened at more than 130 film and video festivals like Berlinale (2020), Doc Fortnight at MOMA New York and IDFA Amsterdam (2018) and they been exhibited at various exhibition spaces like the Architecture Biennial Venice 2021, the HEK Basel (2020) and the Ars Electronica Linz (2019).
996.ICU is an online movement against overwork in the tech sector in China, created as a website and GitHub repository in March 2019. The title refers to how developers who work under the common 996 system – from 9am to 9pm, 6 days a week – risk poor health and a possible stay in an intensive care unit. The movement's slogan is 'developers' lives matter'.