8 Hours Labour – Limited Term Appointment
2023, Knitted textile banner, video documentation, contract
8 Hours Labour – Limited Term Appointment is a machine knitting performance highlighting the exploitative culture of overwork in academia. Building on previous works, (Punchcard Economy, 8 Hours Labour), over the course of 8 hours the artist knitted a banner with the text ‘8 Hours Labour’, using a hacked domestic knitting machine. In the banner design, he incorporated data from people working in academia – expressed as inverted stitches – showing the amount of work they do beyond a typical 8-hour day contract. The banner is accompanied by two videos – the first video documents the ‘artistic labour’ involved in producing the banner in the artist’s studio.The second video documents the artist clearing his office at Concordia University, Montreal, having terminated his LTA (Limited Term Appointment) teaching contract early due to burnout.
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.