Programmed Leisure, 2017
“Self-care is increasingly delegated to digital devices. Pop-up notifications command you to drink water, stand up or take a nap. At the same time, you act as your own boss, a demanding one who is constantly asking for more. Since you are incapable of giving yourself a break, we offer you the chance to buy one. We offer you a slot of programmed leisure. How much are you willing to pay in order to be told what to do and when to do it by a magnanimous bot? We know that leisure is terrifying, that’s why your bid will determine the quantity you deserve. How much time will you have to serve? One hour, two or more? Join the auction and find out. Your email is required.”
“Shouldn’t you be working?” is the text that StayFocusd, a browser plugin with more than 600,000 users, prompts when your allotted time on social media and other procrastination sites is over. But why keeping lazy-shaming only on screen?
NOPROBLEMOS displays a collection of forms found in self-help online services that help users prevent and cope with depression. Through the Kafkaesque process of endlessly filling the forms without an explicit aim, NOPROBLEMOS highlights the culture of competition, hard work, and success that informs the understanding of mental health disorders.
Fake It Till You Make It, 2016
Sometimes recommended as a way to cope with depression, ‘fake it ‘till you make it’ is also a common catchphrase in the field of startups. Here, it refers to the strategy of pretending that the product is already functional in order to make it more appealing to investors. Fake It Till You Make It features excerpts of interviews, talks, and pitches by Jody Sherman, CEO of Ecomom, and Austen Heinz, CEO of Cambrian Genomics. United by the burning desire to make the world a better place, they both committed suicide while leading their tech startup. In an age when everyone is required to be an entrepreneur of the self, Fake It Till You Make It explores the gloomy relationships between the relentless optimism of entrepreneurship and the structural and social pressures that founders and CEOs constantly face.
My Peace is Your Piece,in collaboration with Sebastian Schmieg, 2016
In an attempt to explore the medium of leisure, Sebastian and I decided not to deliver a product, and instead we became service providers. Our offer was: spend as little as 1$ to rent space in a gallery in Canada and be part of the show.
Kickended is an archive of Kickstarter’s $0-pledged campaigns. Kickended is the place where campaigns with no backers live a second life. Free from the pressure of money raising, these retain the purity of abstract ideas. Kickended uses data from kickspy.com.
By bringing to the fore crowdfunding projects with no backers, Kickended contributes to subvert the success bias produced at the level of both media storytelling and Kickstarter’s ranking algorithms. In this sense, it encourages a realistic perspective on the much hyped self-entrepreneurship. Kickended ignited a lively debate around these issues on major media outlets such as, among others, the Washington Post, the Guardian, CNET, Yahoo! Tech, and Buzzfeed.