Who is in control of your working life?

Sam Meech Punchcard Economy

Who is in control of your working life?

FACT presents, The Future World of Work, an artist led response to the changing face of working life

A newly formed cohort of artists is coming to Liverpool City Region to explore The Future World of Work, forming an ambitious 18 month cultural programme. The artists will investigate the impact of technology and rapidly changing working practices on society, culture, and wellbeing. Developed by FACT and Culture Liverpool the artists, including Liz Magic Laser and Liv Wynter, will focus on different issues including the gig economy, workers rights, start up culture and automation.

It is said that within 10 years, half of today’s jobs will be gone. The Future World of Work challenges audiences to pause and reflect on working life.What will this mean for business, workers, society and culture? Will we have more time? Will we live longer? How do we negotiate this transitionary period?

The programme, a core strand of the Liverpool 2018 programme, consists of eight commissions with artists including Liz Magic Laser, Liv Wynter, Robertas Narkus, Naho Matsuda, Thomas Grogan and Hwa Young Jung. By working with local businesses and community groups, to deliver workshops, performances, talks and research, each artist will complete a focused workplace residency within the city region, culminating in an exhibition at FACT in 2019.

FACT Director Mike Stubbs says

“The Future World of Work provides a timely, and much awaited inquiry into the changing face of working life in a hyper-connected economy, dealing with diverse challenge areas including gig-work, gender representation, and social care work to name a few. We cannot underestimate this moment in time, we are on the brink of a transformation on par with the industrial revolution. But whilst the newspapers are saturated with doom-laden stories of automation, this artistic programme will cut through the science-fiction, to understand what the coming workplace revolution means for us all.“

The programme includes;

New York artist Liz Magic Laser has been commissioned to deliver In Real Life, a semi-fictional reality TV show developed in collaboration with gig workers. Today’s workforce and managers are bombarded with workplace satisfaction surveys, self-help methodologies, appraisals and professional development plans. Designed to maximise efficiency and workforce retention these practices raise interesting questions about the ethics of control vs. self-empowerment. Laser asks if this self-help culture could play a supportive role in zero-hours contracts and gig-working. Liz Magic Laser is a video and performance artist. She has exhibited across Europe and in New York. A notable work is The Thought Leader (2015), adopted a TED Talk format, with 10 year old actor, Alex Ammerman to deliver a monologue adapted from Dostoevsky’s Notes from the Underground.

In Tomorrow’s Citizens, artist and campaigner Liv Wynter will work with local provocateurs Grrrl Power in a FACT Learning project, engaging young people and adults who identify as female or non-binary. By linking activists, campaigners, artists and writers, Wynter and participants will develop a toolkit for young campaigners, connecting historical campaigns for equality and making links to the centenary of the right to vote of some women in 1918.

Closely aligned with LCR Activate, the project will present and publicise six bold proposals for workplace residencies in which artists will spend time with local businesses and research facilities across Liverpool City Region. Projects address diverse challenge areas including Artificial Intelligence (AI) in television and media production, hierarchy and hairdressers,  evaluation of disability and technology for employment, a games based approach to social care, careers advice services for fast changing job markets, and gender bias in technology development.

Lithuania based Robertas Narkus will establish an artist-led tech startup, using the business as a vehicle to explore the mixed motivations and conflicting ideals underlying startup culture. Robertas will critique how the two contrasting states of success and failure, are both celebrated in the startup scene. In previous works, Narkus has opened a successful restaurant and shoe shop, now, Narkus will position himself within the tech industry, registering a business and delivering a new product through the new enterprise.

International Business Festival Futures Stage – Working In partnership with Liverpool City Council, Liverpool’s International Business Festival has a specially curated series of talks in from key figures in business and academia. Each day on the Futures Stage, speakers will convene on the various challenge areas emerging in the Future World of Work.