Lafayette Anticipation associate curator Anna Colin talks to artist Tyler Coburn about Ergonomic Futures, a speculative project engaged with art, design, science, anthropology and writing. In this interview, Coburn discusses the research, production process and network of collaborators of a multilayered project ultimately concerned with the futures of humankind. Anna Colin: When one comes across your museum seats Ergonomic Futures (2016—) in contemporary art exhibitions—and soon in natural history, fine art, and anthropology museums—they look… [read more »]
Dignity and Self-Respect
November 4 – December 18, 2011
Opening: Friday, November 4, 6 – 8pm
47 Canal Street, 2nd Floor
(between Ludlow and Orchard)
Hard work is often its own reward in the creative sector. You become your job, putting your career on like it’s a skin graft. Paid positions are scarcity commodities in 2011. Behind those zombie fossils, those words, “middle class,” income brackets, lifestyle identities, inherited capital, and credit worthiness wash up over the private beaches of enforced individual autonomy and abjection.
How many sacrifices will you make to secure your dream of becoming a graphic designer or an exhibiting installation artist? Spread your wallet wide for New York City. Shimmering, suffocating glass curtain walls of plastic interest and lethal force fields of student loan debt. Minutes that accumulate into hours and days over the course of years as you wait in carcinogenic subway tunnels for the MTA’s trains and for success. A time-share prison sentence in which your fantasies forge the bars.
Inside our creative cell, the bed we sleep in is individuality. 30 different kinds/colorways of ergonomic toothbrush and 200 different kinds/flavors of bottled beverage for 300 million people. Lives defined by taste, by products, and by mass-distributed role models. Celebrities play a vital economic role in our society as mediated surrogates. We come home exhausted from working and live vicariously through the lives they simulate. Surrogate thirsts. Friends. James Franco holds down 19 careers. Why can’t you? Wear this cheap down parka and you can be like the 25-year-old CEO of TUMBLR.
Many roads lead beyond humanity’s borders, past human parameters. Celebrity is one of them. Nearby, aspiration-driven workaholism is another. Coffee co-pays. You take drugs to work and take drugs to sleep. You watch TV to relax. If only you could download the future off the Internet instead of the past. If only microscopic medical machines were already here and replicating in your bloodstream, they could scrub away the fatigue toxins and fix all your work-induced health disorders. Your back would stop aching. Your entire life could become a focused flow of labor. An authentic, sincere smile would open up on your face. This is personal. And post-personal.
wednesday – sunday / 11a-6p