Whose Labor is Hidden in AI-Capitalism?
Under AI-capitalism, labor seems – across classes and contexts – to be gradually becoming extinct, although labor 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 obscures the wide-ranging restructuring of work. In other words, rather than buying into the myth of labor as a fading reality, it is necessary to look at labor as a buried reality that needs to be excavated from beneath dominant narratives and power structures. The Berliner Gazette's Winter School 2020 is launching its intervention at this critical juncture under the title “Silent Works. The Hidden Labor in AI-Capitalism.” Encompassing an exhibition, a conference, and texts, the project is organized by Magdalena Taube and Krystian Woznicki – two Berlin-based journalists/researchers working towards the commons by exploring the potential of hybrid forms of collective agency.
Working and Learning
The everyday cognitive work in the co-working space can take place alongside and in dialogue with educational work by exposing oneself to academic, activist, and artistic material that explores the imperceptibilization of labor processes as the basis for coding, controlling, and conditioning social reality.
Such material is provided by research groups, inter-disciplinary collectives, activist initiatives, and artists including Benjamin Heisenberg (Switzerland), Diego de la Vega Coffee Co-op (Mexico/US), eeefff (Belarus/Russia), Giorgi Gago Gagoshidze (Georgia), Into the Black Box (Italy), Melanie Gilligan (Canada), metroZones (Germany), NoCyberValley (Germany), oddviz (Turkey), Peng! (Germany), Petero Kalulé (Uganda/UK) / AM Kanngieser (Australia), Shinseungback Kimyonghun (South Korea), Tekla Aslanishvili (Georgia), and University of the Phoenix (Canada).
Co-creating social space
To actively energize the tensions between ‘the school’ and ‘the factory,’ educational events will be staged, including classes with contributors to the Winter School and an international conference. Animating the Winter School as a potential work platform while keeping access to the educational material open, the space design enables the ongoing creation of encounters between ‘the school’ and ‘the factory.’
In times of Covid-19-related social distancing and social lockdown, the Berliner Gazette Winter School 2020 offers the possibility to collectively redefine how one can co-create social space while practicing and demonstrating the kind of responsibility and solidarity so urgently required today.
Booklets + Online Dossiers
Additional texts and interviews have been published on our SILENT WORKS blog at Mediapart.fr (in English) and in a special section of the Berliner Gazette (in German). Please scroll down for further information.
Magdalena Taube and Krystian Woznicki, Berlin, October 2020
Welcome + Access
Please wear a face mask and practice social distancing when entering and exploring the space. The use of the Corona app is recommended.
Attending classes: If you are interested in attending classes (see on the right) or the public talks of the conference (see below), please note that admission is free. However, since capacities are very limited due to Covid-19-related measures, please register by email under info(at)berlinergazette.de. Alternatively, you can register for remote access the classes. Digital versions of the classes will be provided as life streams or video recordings.
Additional dates on the educational program include a session with Giorgi Gago Gagoshidze and Melanie Gilligan on Nov. 20, 2020 at 5 p.m. and a closing session on Nov. 28, 2020 at 5 p.m. with Tekla Aslanishvili and Evelina Gambino.
The public talks will take place at 5 p.m. on November 12, 13, and 14, 2020. If you are interested in attending the talks, please note that admission is free. However, since seats are limited due to Covid-19-related measures, please register by email under info(at)berlinergazette.de
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 4 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.
Moderation: Holger Kral + Cassie Thornton. Guests: Felix Diefenhardt, Gosia Jagiello, Dia Kayyali, Katrin Kämpf, Aude Launay, Shintaro Miyazaki, Felix Nickel, Catherine Sotirakou, Mira Wallis.
Moderation: Jose Miguel Calatayud + Magdalena Taube. Guests: Géraldine Delacroix, Inga Lindarenka, Victoria Martinez, Monisha Caroline Martins, Julia Molin, Rebecca Puchta, Lira Ramadani, André Rebentisch.
Dull, Dangerous + Dirty
Moderation: Sabrina Apitz + Masha Burina. Guests: Sana Ahmad, Desmond Alugnoa, Miriam Arentz, Mika Buljevic, Kerstin Guhlemann, Friederike Habermann, Clemens Melzer, Kevin Rittberger, Sotiris Sideris, Martina Staneva.
Moderation: Niccolò Cuppini + Ela Kagel. Guests: Moritz Altenried, Jochen Becker, Régine Debatty, Katharina Höne, Alexander Klose, Tanja Krone, Oliver Lerone Schultz, Juliane Rettschlag, Gabriele Schliwa, Mathana Stender.
Moderation: Max Haiven + Yonatan Miller. Guests: Lara Luna Bartley, Manuela Bojadžijev, Juan Caballero, Bronwyn Frey, Peter Hermans, hvale, Marta Peirano, Gustavo Sanroman, Brett Scott, Laura Wadden.
Under the impression of the COVID-19 pandemic Magdalena Taube and Krystian Woznicki wrote a postscript to the introductory essay inquiring what it means to be “Working, Working Together, and Networking During the Web-Hype of the Pandemic” and how – along the way – we can debunk AI-driven capitalism’s myths. In a separate postscript Krystian Woznicki explores health and care work “On the Edges of Democracy.”
Dario Azzellini about capitalism’s system error as “disaster” and opportunity for labor struggles; Christine Braunersreuther about why the “system relevance” of care workers can no longer be denied; Sujatha Byravan about what the “corona crisis” means for mobile laborers in India – and the world at large; Niccolò Cuppini about the explosion of authoritarianism and labor struggles in Italy’s “War on Corona;” Kerstin Guhlemann about health protection in Industry 4.0 and humans as a disruptive factor; Angela Mitropoulos about the labor of saving lives and saving capitalism; Tom Holert about learning as labor and re-inventing ‘the school’ along the lines of ‘the factory,’ Eiji Oguma about why the ‘robotization of care work in Japan’ is a misleading myth, and Katja Schwaller about how invisibilized work is made visible during the “corona crisis.”
Beiträge auf Deutsch
Darüber hinaus sind nur dort folgende Beiträge zu lesen: “An/Greifbar: Warum BerlinerInnen gegen die digitale Kolonialisierung ihrer Stadt aufbegehren” von Jochen Becker, “Wo beginnt der Krieg? Widerstände gegen militärisch-industrielle Forschungs-Black-Boxes” von Christian Heck, “Wer arbeitet im Maschinenpark? Logistik, Künstliche Intelligenz und die Infrastruktur des Alltags” von Alexander Klose, “Abschaffung der Arbeit? Künstliche Intelligenz, Kapitalismus und Transhumanismus” von Janina Loh und “Kybernetische Proletarisierung: Wie in der Pandemie existierende Konflikte verschärft werden” von Simon Schaupp.
Beiträge zu den SILENT WORKS-Fragestellungen können im Umfang von 10.000 Zeichen bis zum 30.9.2020 unter info(at)berlinergazette.de eingereicht werden.
Photos from the Kickoff
Exploring hidden labor in AI-capitalism, we organized a SILENT WORKS kickoff event at the transmediale on January 31 (top) and a SILENT WORKS warm-up event at Modell Berlin on September 23 (bottom). The photographer Andi Weiland captured some precious moments. Besides the photos presented here, there are more of Andi’s superb photos in this flickr album.
The organizers 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.