Digital Labor

Gabrielle Bendiner-Viani


Gabrielle Bendiner-Viani is a photographer, urbanist and curator. She is co-founder of Buscada (, an interdisciplinary practice on place and dialogue, and is Assoc. Director of Civic Engagement Initiatives and professor of Urban Studies at the New School. She holds a PhD in Environmental Psychology from the Graduate Center, CUNY and was previously Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Urban and Community Research, Goldsmiths College, London. Her creative research addresses the experience & politics of everyday place in London, Buenos Aires, San Francisco and New York. She has collaborated with institutions including MIT, Tate Britain, the Center for Architecture New York, the Sheila Johnson Design Center, and the Museum of Chinese in America, and has published in Society & Space : Environment & Planning D, Space & Culture, Radical History Review and Places. Questioning ideas of how we spend our time, her practice, Buscada recently created an app for mindfulness called “168.” (

Research and Practice on Feminist / Feminized Digital Labor
Bringing together scholars from locations across The New School, this session will address feminist and feminized digital labor from the perspective of both research and practice. The notion of “digital labor” we explore is deliberately broad, and includes refusing the digital as well as accommodating it. Participants will discuss a range of topics including: ethics and reciprocity in ethnographies of digital work; the race and gender politics of online courses; feminist pedagogical publics; value and labor in the digital archive; documentation as digital labor; migrants resisting digital technology; the affective labor of legitimizing subcultural work; the sacrificial labor of being studied; digital labor as reproductive labor; digital technology as state surveillance; digital labor in urban space; the digital turn in public school applications; digital labor within the fashion industry from technical designers to fashion photographers; and more. Throughout, we use “feminist” and “feminized” to signal diverse communities of feminist, transgender, queer, subcultural, ethnicized, racialized, under-resourced, minoritized, disenfranchised, unauthorized and otherwise subordinated subjects. Our questions engage directly with a range of cognate subaltern theories, methodologies, practices, and pedagogies.

Our proposed format is one of experimental dialogue, drawn loosely from the Long Table format created by performance artist Lois Weaver. Blending collaboration, presentation, workshop, and performance, and conceived of as a reappropriation of the dinner table, the arrangement creates a forum around the “etiquette” of openness, dialogue, and permeability. Our Long Table plays off the notion of feminized, un- or under-waged reproductive labor invoked by a meal. It addresses the collaborative—if uneven, shifting, or exploitative—labor involved in producing inquiry and knowledge. Because seats “at the table” can rotate, it is ideal for structuring a large group such as ours, as well as for switching roles of presenter/performer and audience. Participants will frame questions, offer comments, and possibly entertain silence.

Research & Practice on Feminist / Feminized Digital Labor
Fri, November 14
10:45 AM - 01:15 PM