Article: Questions about work and representation

Questions about work and representation – (for upcoming SVA class
NetworkBehaviour – A networked artists’ community
http://www.netbehaviour.org

1. What is the scientific definition of work? Does it apply to human work?
2. What is the definition of labor?
3. Is all labor work? Is all work labor?
4. What is materialism? (What is idealism?)
5. When we think about representations of labor – what do we mean by
“representation”? By “labor”?
6. Does labor traditionally refer to employment by others?
7. Is making art work? Writing a novel? What does “art_work” mean? What
is a cultural worker? What forms of contract/payment are applicable to
art-making? Are artists self-employed?
8. What are “cottage industries”? Handicrafts? What kinds of work are
involved here?
9. Traditional Western representations of labor have focused on class:
true or false?
10. What is class? What does class struggle mean? What does class
consciousness mean? Do classes struggle? What is endocolonization?
11. What were the classes in feudal society? In Assyria? In biblical
cultures? What is the working class? Proletariat? Lumpen-proletariat?
Bourgeoisie? Petit-bourgeoisie? What are the stages of production? What
is primitive accumulation?
12. What is the paradigm of class? Class struggle?
13. Does class, class struggle, class consciousness, still hold today?
14. Is America a class society, a classless society, or something else
altogether?
15. What other forms of labor and labor organizations might exist outside
of class?
16. How is class modeled within the network society? What sorts of labor
occur within networked society?
17. How is physical labor compartmentalized in networked society?
18. What does alienation mean to you?
19. What is alienated labor? Is all labor alienated?
20. Consider the parabolic trajectory of the handaxe. (to be explained)
21. Consider immersive/definable hierarchies. (to be explained)
22. What is bricolage labor?
23. What is labor in the postmodern city (case in point: Ciudad Juarez)?
24. Resistance: What are local and general strikes? What is history?
Does history make us or do we make history?
25. What is active and passive resistance?
26. The role of PLAY in work – is there any?
27. What is play in the work of art?
28. What is play beneath or within the sign of capital?
29. What are base and superstructure?
30. Does play lie within one or the other or both?
31. What is the distinction between use and exchange value? Does it hold
today?
32. What is surplus value? How does surplus value operate?
33. How is value calculated in a virtual economy? A physical economy?
34. Are all economies virtual?
35. (Definitions) What is the “dictatorship of the proletariat”?
36. Can communism work? What is communism?
37. What is fetishism? What is fetishization in capitalism?
38. What is consumption?
39. What is conspicuous consumption and does this term apply today?
40. What is reification and how does it operate in contemporary society?
41. What are Fordism and post-Fordism?
42. Can we speak of a post-modern society today? What does that mean, and
what does post-modernism mean?
43. What would a post-modern geography be? A postmodern labor-force?
44. See Thomas L. Friedman, The World is Flat. How does a flat world
operate? What sorts of traditional capitalism emerge here? What sorts of
labor struggles are possible in a flat world?
45. What are the _constraints_ of the world? The Club of Rome Report, The
Limits to Growth?
46. What does it mean to be a “citizen” of a planet with limited
resources?
47. And increasing poverty, pollution, gangsterisms, unemployment,
terrorisms, fundamentalism, totalitarianisms?
48. How does a networked society play into this?
49. WHAT IS A NETWORK?
50. WHAT IS TO BE DONE?

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