What Is the Hidden Human Labor In AI-Driven Capitalism?
Under AI-driven capitalism, human labor seems – across classes and contexts – to be gradually becoming extinct, although it is in fact undergoing deep transformations. Thus, at the end of the day the task is to debunk the extinction myth and to inquire how it conceals the far-reaching restructuring of work. In other words, rather than buying into the myth of human labor as a fading reality, it is necessary to tackle labor as a buried reality that needs to be excavated from beneath dominant narratives and power structures. The SILENT WORKS project is launching its intervention at this critical juncture. Encompassing an exhibition, a conference, and a text series, the 2020 project will be curated by journalists/researchers Magdalena Taube and Krystian Woznicki and organized by Berliner Gazette in cooperation with Haus der Statistik – two Berlin-based initiatives looking for alternatives to AI-driven capitalism.
Continue reading the complete English version on Mediapart. The German version is available on Berliner Gazette.
Workshops Nov. 12-14
The workshops will take place as part of the SILENT WORKS conference at the Haus der Statistik on November 12-14. Arguably the heart of the conference, the workshops will bring together activists, researchers and cultural workers from more than 20 countries. Creating a unique space for cooperation, the BG will invite key actors to form the core of the workshops, and enable the general public to register via the call for registration (details in bar on the right).
To tackle the key issues of the SILENT WORKS conference, five parallel workshop tracks will take five different approaches to cooperative practices tackling the hidden human labor in AI-driven capitalism: AAI; CAPTCHA Factory; Dull, Dangerous + Dirty; Logistical Noir; and Invisible Organization (for descriptions, see below). The workshop groups will communicate before the conference in order to flesh out the workshop designs collaboratively. Led by experienced group leaders, participants will be invited to come up with possible answers to the questions raised by the SILENT WORKS initiative. The results will be made available as online resources via berlinergazette.de: they may include position papers, multimedia storytelling projects and collections of ideas. Check the workshop results from the previous BG conference and find photos from the workshops here.
Registration + Details
The call for registration targets (up-and-coming) hackers, journalists, activists and researchers. A limited number of participants will be able to register for one of the five workshops (AAI; CAPTCHA Factory; Dull, Dangerous + Dirty; Logistical Noir; and Invisible Organization) by contacting the following email: info(at)berlinergazette.de. The registration deadline is September 1. Registration fee: 50 Euro. Please note: As the five workshops will be running in parallel, each participant will be invited to commit to a single track. On November 12 and 13, the workshops will take place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. On November 14, the workshop groups will present their results to the general public. The conference hosts will provide catering throughout the entire conference, including a warm lunch.
Dull, Dangerous + Dirty
Photos from the Kickoff
Various modes of hidden human labor in AI-driven capitalism were explored at the SILENT WORKS kickoff event at the transmediale on January 31. The photographer Andi Weiland captured some precious moments. All photos presented here were taken at the event. They can be shared under a Creative Commons license. Please look at more of Andi’s superb photos in this flickr album.
The curators of the SILENT WORKS project are Magdalena Taube and Krystian Woznicki. Magdalena is editor-in-chief of the internet newspaper Berliner Gazette and professor of Digital Media and Journalism at the Macromedia University of Applied Sciences in Berlin. She is the author of “Disruption des Journalismus” (2018) published by Institute of Network Cultures, Amsterdam and co-editor of numerous anthologies, including “A Field Guide to the Snowden Files” (2017). Her curatorial projects include “Signals. The Snowden Files in Media, Archives and Arts” (2017) and “BQV. Büro für Qualifikation und Vermögen” (2012). Krystian is a critic, photographer, and the co-founder of Berliner Gazette. Blending writing and photography, he has created books such as “After the Planes” (2017), co-authored with Brian Massumi, “Fugitive Belonging” (2018), and his most recent work “Undeclared Movements” – published by b_books in February 2020. His curatorial projects include “As Darkness Falls” (2014), “Temporary Embassies” (2008), and “Young Japanese Cinema” (1999).
The venue hosting SILENT WORKS was built in 1968-70 in the middle of Berlin – initially as the seat of the State Central Administration for Statistics (SZS) of the German Democratic Republic. With the reunification of Germany it then became federal property. Since 2008, the Haus der Statistik has been empty. 50,000 sqm vacancy right at Alexanderplatz, in the middle of Berlin, where most people are suffering from the consequences of real estate speculation and gentrification. An artistic protest campaign at the Haus der Statistik got things moving in 2015. Shortly thereafter, the Haus der Statistik initiative was founded, an alliance of various Berlin actors: social and cultural institutions, art collectives, architects, foundations and associations supporting the goal of creating affordable spaces for displaced user groups in the city center. By founding the Cooperative for Urban Development (“ZUsammenKUNFT Berlin eG”), in April 2016, the initiative became capable of action and legal capacity, subsequently forming an association between 5 partners (KOOP5) from civil society and administration. This association is oriented towards the common good and the diversity of uses – developing the Haus der Statistik as a space for cooperative living and working. A basis for this ambitious goal will be created by ‘pioneer uses’. During the current planning and construction phase, these pioneer uses – set on the ground floors – will contribute to shaping the future of the complex.
The organization behind the SILENT WORKS project is Berliner Gazette (BG) – a nonprofit and nonpartisan team of journalists, researchers, artists and coders. We experiment with and analyze emerging cultural as well as political practices. Since 1999 we have been publishing berlinergazette.de under a Creative Commons License – with more than 1,000 contributors from all over the world – as well as organizing conferences and editing books. Latest BG projects include 2019: More World – BG con | 2018: Ambient Revolts – BG con | 2017: Signals – Exhibition | A Field Guide to the Snowden Files – Book | Friendly Fire – BG con | 2016: Tacit Futures – BG con | 2015: UN|COMMONS – BG con | 2012: BQV. Büro für Qualifikation und Vermögen – Documentary | 2006: McDeutsch – Book.
If you want to get updates on the SILENT WORKS project, please follow BG. For instance, you can keep in touch on twitter or on facebook. Please use the Hashtag #SilentWorks when posting messages on social networks. If you wish to be updated via email, you are very welcome to join our mailing lists. On our English language mailing list we share updates on BG projects as well as initiatives from our network associates and neighbors. You can subscribe here. On our German language mailing list we provide updates on what we publish in the online newspaper berlinergazette.de as well as selected info on events in Berlin. Please find more information and a subscription option here.