(edited by) Domenico Quaranta and Janez Janša – Hyperemployment – Post-work, Online Labour and Automation


NERO and Aksioma, ISBN-13: 978-8880561125, English, 160 pages, 2020, Italy

Aksioma is one of a few media arts institutions to have a substantial and consistent publishing output. Their attention to political issues has translated into original exhibitions such as the recent Hyperemployment, for which this catalogue has been published. The title of the exhibition is borrowed from a 2013 essay by Ian Bogost, which articulated the overwhelming demands of working online alongside a general loss of the coordinates of work space and work time. The Hyperemployment publication contains four essays which appropriately frame the works featured in the exhibition, illustrated by a photo gallery at the end of the text. The first is a long essay by Domenico Quaranta. Quaranta first discusses the Bogost essay and its reactions, and then frames all the works in the exhibition. Luciana Parisi writes a superb text, detailing the philosophical consequences of the dystopian Promethean dream of full automation and then analysing the work of Elisa Giardina Papa. Silvio Lorusso focuses on the art worker and their current position in the broader “gig economy,” while Felix Stalder engages the artist duo !Mediengruppe Bitnik in a conversation that explores their work and their stance on unveiling the “black box” paradigm in systems and software. Hyperemployment is a radical pocket-sized window into our work system.