Playbour – Work, Pleasure, Survival


When: 10am – 6pm Friday 25th, Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th May, 2018
Where: Furtherfield Commons, Finsbury Gate, Finsbury Park, N4 2DE, London

Playbour– Work, Pleasure, Survival, is an art and research platform dedicated to the study of the worker in an age of data technologies. Our first event is a three-day lab at Furtherfield Commons, Finsbury Park, London, and we are currently welcoming submissions for people to join us!

We are looking for applications from a range of applicants artists, designers, researchers, curators, and activists, with an interest in the relationship between arts, technology, and design, and who are working on an art or research project relating to shifting realities of work, the worker, and the self, via cognitive capital, digital labour, play and entertainment spaces.

We will explore the contours and value systems we place on work, play, and well-being, and use this to work towards an exhibition at Furtherfield opening mid-July, 2018.

Each day will consist of three sessions DISCUSSTEST, and PLAY, convened and co-led by artists, academics, designers, and activists. Participants will critically analyze and thoughtfully engage in conversations, conduct research with “workers”, test out ideas through hands-on making activities, and engage in play-driven interventions and performances. They will then work in groups to develop the foundation for newly commissioned works for the upcoming exhibition at Furtherfield gallery in July 2018.

Friday, Playbour, will examine shifting realities of work and professionalism in play and entertainment spaces. Participants will DISCUSS with sociologist Dr. Jamie Woodcock (Oxford Internet Institute) and explore the concepts of playbour, digital labour, immaterial labour, and cognitive capitalism – linking these explicitly to work and play through the example of videogames. We will then CONNECT with live streamers. In the afternoon, we will PLAY in a “collective empathy” session with artist Steven Ounanian looking into how pain and suffering are experienced in online contexts.

Saturday, Body/Machine/Capital, investigates data-driven decision making and the colonisation of body and machine via capital systems. The first half of the day will be led by Ramon Amaro and Nicole Sansone (Goldsmiths, University of London). We will DISCUSS race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, cognitive capitalism and modes of algorithmic perception. We will PLAY the role of an algorithm in creating a scene of heroism. These sessions will offer theoretical framing on how image rendering automates normalising aesthetic judgements. Later that day, participants will begin to develop their “game installation” projects in a TEST session with Michael Straeubig (University of Plymouth). Please bring your C.V.s and be on time.

Sunday, is titled Unwitting Extraction. In the morning, participants will DISCUSS and develop their “game installation” with architect Dr. Itai Palti. Using behavioural science and data technology participants will TEST ideas and thinking for game-based installations through a scientific lens in anticipation of the Furtherfield exhibition. This will be followed by a group lunch and feedback session with Dani Admiss and illustrator, Maz Hemming.


PROJECT OVERVIEW: Playbour – Work, Pleasure, Survival, is dedicated to the study of the worker as they are asked to draw on internal resources and self-made networks to develop new avenues of work, pleasure, and survival. It is a platform for community-led art and research, organised in London with its partner and host, Furtherfield.

Through a programme of a lab, exhibition, and publication, Playbour – Work, Pleasure, Survival, is supporting public forms of research and developing collective situations for thinking about how we value the convergence of work, play and well-being, and the contours of work and play itself as they are being redefined through data and neurotechnologies. Its projects bring together artists, designers, scholars, activists and people from local communities, through new experiments in artistic co-research and production.


Playbour – Work, Pleasure, Survival, is kindly supported by

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