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Clocking in & Out
In 2015, artist Cristina Garrido made the first version of Clocking in & out. In this work, she looked into her smartphone and let herself be looked at by it.
She began to take photographs of herself regularly, every morning and every evening for a whole week, and she would then systematically post her selfie on her social media profiles, monitoring her day on social networks: her work and life merged together into days spent designing and showcasing her activity, to which she dedicated all her waking hours. Eight years later, she has repeated this process, framing her artistic gesture in the context of a reflection on what it means to work in this increasingly fast-paced era that has become more integrated into our everyday life and controls our work, capitalizing on any gesture. Even when we are not performing a task, the data we generate yields a different kind of benefit for companies that deal with the commercial parameters created by our lives.
If Garrido’s work is clearly inspired by the piece created by artist Mladen Stilinović, in which he photographed himself sleeping under the title Artist at work, 1978, nowadays the ability to develop further, to dream about new possibilities or to understand working time as a field of expansion is confronted with capitalist dynamics. Work, idealistically understood as a space that “will set us free,” that creates opportunity for development and equality for all has proved to be a productive tool of control, and its capacity to act as a space and time for personal and collective development is being questioned, becoming a mechanism of economic exploitation. The dematerialization and deterritorialization of the image refer to a neoliberal system. Taking the idea of democratizing the possibilities given by full production capacity and accessibility as starting point, these same productivity features create an opposite effect, in which freedom is what ends up being exploited.
Finding ways of doing things that have an impact on the capacity to create, whatever our activity in society is, and on the non-precarious conditions of said activity, is still a pending issue that should not be forgotten by SDG no. 8 when addressing the access to decent employment for all and a sustainable economy.