Jorge Valiente Oriol
A POST-WORK SCENARIO
The late-capitalist project (and its dependency on an unbridled economic growth) has already collapsed with the reality of a finite, burned-out and now diseased planet that “can barely breathe”. The climatic crisis has positioned humankind at the verge of an existential threat that is crying-out for radical political action along with new imaginaries and aesthetics. In a current state of global pandemics, a growing number of theorists, activists and politicians is intensifying the demands for structural changes and instigating the debate around universal access to health, income, shelter and dignity. In response, a globally synchronised chorus of reactionary voices (exacerbated by supremacist and nationalistic anxieties) is challenging any progressive attempt at deviating our march towards a seemingly unavoidable extinction. In this context of rising polarisation, growing inequalities, widespread eco-anxieties and advanced automation, a group of economists and political theorists –the post-workists– are consolidating the grounds for a feasible transition towards a world without work. The gradients of interpretation of their premises range from reformist attempts at establishing a universal income based on a distributive taxation system (originally inspired by early ‘utopian’ visions of Thomas More, and nowadays suspiciously supported by multimillionaires such as eBay founder Pierre Omidyar); up to more radical philosophical positions such as ‘anti-scarcity’, ‘de-growth’ or simply ‘refusal to work’.
But beyond necessary considerations around the divergent approaches to post-work theories, DOMESTICITY POST-WORK departs from the fictional premise of a world without work. The studio invites participants to engage with a project of radical imagination at the convergence of (and in alliance with) decolonial, post-anthropocentric, feminist and queering epistemologies. DOMESTICITY POST-WORK is a provocation to trigger responses on the spatial and systemic implications of removing work from the epicentre of life. The domestic realm –previously understood as a space of restoration, and now forced to connect to a global network of remote hyper-productivity– is the space of experimentation in which to rehearse the new rituals, habits and modes of engagement with the world; the political arena for a post-work society.