Byron Peters is an artist and writer who lives in London. He has recently exhibited and presented at venues including The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, The White Building, The Victoria and Albert Museum’s Digital Futures, The Centre for the Study of Contemporary Art at UCL and The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts. His latest article, “Scripting Misperformance, Misperforming Scripts” (with J. Wick) on resilience, John Cage, and Netflix’s Chaos Monkey, appears in Fillip 19. He is a founding member of the Vancouver-based organization Coupe and the San Francisco Labor Archives and Research Centre Advisory Committee.
Songs for Non-Work
This presentation will include soundscapes, analysis, and anecdotes towards a re-imagining of the Keynesian “make-work project” as a form of labor organizing. Topics addressed will include notions of payment processing, historical precedents of work and non-work, documents from the wages-for-housework archive at the MayDay Rooms, and Dziga Vertov’s declaration of sound as a “factory of facts.”
Songs for Non-Work is an audio archive (total duration: 16 hours, 14 minutes, 41 seconds) and Mturk requestor wherein 1000 workers were paid Silicon Valley minimum wage (10/hr USD) to “not-work” in one-minute intervals. Workers also had the option of recording and contributing audio from this time period. The resulting submissions include field recordings of daily life, office labor, children playing, songs (both live and pre-produced), declarations, ambient noise, and descriptions of cloud-working conditions.