Side Gig - Anxious to Make  

Emily Martinez and Liat Berdugo

Exhibition Run: November 19th - December 15th, 2016

Side Gig is a multi-faceted showcase of new+old works from Anxious to Make, the collaborative practice of Liat Berdugo and Emily Martinez, whose work focuses on the so-called "sharing economy" and its effects on our human lives and artistic practices. Side Gig activated the gallery in myriad forms and permutations, and included video works, pillows, a nap room for Uber drivers (and other workers of the sharing economy), an audio hypnosis track for creative practitioners, interactive surveys, selected items from the Archive of the Center for the Sharing Economy, as well as a section of the gallery roped off that could only be accessed by hiring a worker from the sharing economy to tour this area.

This body of work from Bergudo and Martinez critically and playfully examines what it means to be a working artist in the sharing economy, and how this ever-expanding marketplace affects our emotional and physical lives. It is particularly relevant to consider and important to dismantle at this time in the Bay Area today - birthplace of Lyft and similar platforms, with rent prices soaring and Uber recently acquiring half of block of downtown Oakland - as we see the need to take on side gigs ourselves to survive, our art practices being pushed to the periphery. How do these so-called “sharing” platforms and mechanisms affect our psychologies, our relationships with time, space, work and each other?

- curated by Tiare Ribeaux as part of the Emergent Media Lab series

Artist Statement by Anxious to Make: "Inside the bowels of the third industrial revolution -- where industry 4.0 meets crowdsourcing, where digital requests meet physical labor -- lies the so-called "sharing" economy. In the revelatory space of this so-called sharing, our laundry is done at the tap of a button; our groceries are delivered from the corner store; we hire others to wait in ticket queues; and we have finally learned how to carpool -- or rather, to use the properly commercialized term -- to Uberpool. "For-profit “sharing” represents by far the fastest-growing source of un- and under-regulated commercial activity," wrote Noam Scheiber. Meanwhile, the income gap widens between the entrepreneur, the user, and the lowly serf who executes our errands under the phraseology of sharing. “The so-called sharing economy would be more accurately called the sublet economy, which would be more neutral, to boot. Who could possibly come out against sharing?”

Thus, in this conglomeration of cyber-disautomation and task-farming, we find ourselves anxious to make more: more money, more clicks, more friends, more love, more tweets, more shows, more papers, more projects, more ideas, more originality, more experiences. We -- Liat Berdugo and Emily Martinez -- formed the two-person artist collective “Anxious to Make” in order to aggregate this anxiety for more and to harness it produce work through the sharing economy itself. How can we, as artists and cultural producers, make works that comment on and shape the state of the sharing economy through the systems of this capitalist marketplace?"

Anxious to Make is the collaborative practice of Liat Berdugo and Emily Martinez, two commissioning bodies. Our focus is on the so-called "sharing economy" and the contemporary artists "anxiety to make" in the accelerationist, neoliberal economic landscape. While Anxious to Make’s physical existence takes many shifting forms, it often manifests as series of video commissions, downloads, online generators, workshops, net art interventions, and sweepstakes. Anxious to Make believes in absurdist extremes as way to examine contemporary realities. Our work has appeared recently in EMMEDIA (Calgary, CA), Transmediale (Berlin, DE), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco), MoMA PS1 (New York), V2_ Institute for the Unstable Media (Rotterdam, NL), and The Luminary (St. Louis, MO).

Liat Berdugo is an artist, writer, and curator based in Oakland, CA. Her work strives to create an expanded, thoughtful consideration for digital culture. Berdugo has been exhibited in galleries and festivals internationally, and collaborates widely with individuals and archives. She is an Assistant Professor of Art and Architecture at the University of San Francisco. More at http://www.liatberdugo.com

Emily Martinez is an artist working with digital and networked media. Her recent practice and research interests examine the relationship between media, memory, and catastrophe; post-representational forms of subjectivity, emancipatory practices, and the digital archive. Martinez has an international exhibition record and holds an MFA in Digital Arts and New Media from the University of California Santa Cruz. Currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California. More at http://somethingnothing.me

 

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