The past decade was not only about advances in digitization, increased processing power, the popularization of cloud computing and the “sharing economy;” it was also about the crash of the financial system in 2008, vast attacks on employment and worker rights, sprawling debt, economic inequality, dwindling numbers among the ranks of traditional labor unions as well as booming automation of everything from lawyers, professors and doctors to cooks and farmers.
The incursion against waged employment in favor of contingent work undermines worker rights in ways that are even more harmful than the actions by Thatcher and Reagan against miners and air traffic controllers in the 1980s. The shift away from employment to freelancing, independent contract work, and other emerging forms of labor is an affront to one hundred years of labor struggles for the 8-hour-workday, employer-covered health insurance, minimum wage, workplace harassment, and many other protections that were established under the New Deal to foster social harmony and keep class warfare at bay.
#DL14 is presented by the Department of Culture & Media and sponsored by Eugene Lang The New School for Liberal Arts and The New School for Social Research. #DL14, a collaboration with The Vera List Center for Art and Politics and the 2014 Creative Time Summit, is co-sponsored by The Worker Institute at the ILR School(Cornell University), The Division Of Interdisciplinary Studies At The Center For Worker Education (City College of New York City), The Economics Department at UMass Amherst, The School of Media Studies, and the program in Design + Technology at The New School, and The Yale Information Society Project (Yale University).