Art & Labor

Eugene Lang College Lib Arts: The Arts

Liberal Arts

Undergraduate Course

Degree Students

Art & Labor

Spring 2023

Taught By: Soyoung Yoon

Section: A

CRN: 13557

Credits: 4

The course offers a history of modern and contemporary art through the framework of art and labor: the various relationships between art and labor, the changes in the conditions of artistic production as well as the transformations in the value of artistic labor. Students address artistic representations of work as well as different figurations of the artist as worker, as nonworker, as out-of-work. If the Lumière brothers’ Workers Leaving the Factory (1895) is the first film in the history of cinema, we will also ask what happens after the leaving of the factory: the time-space of reproduction and care, of work that is overlooked and undervalued (for example, “women’s work”); of the refusal to work, of strike, sabotage, or anti-work politics and post-work imaginaries; of the displacement of the factory and the assembly-line as the primary mode of production. Students address how artists have worked with and against the effects of the restructurations of capital and social/technological transformations that have changed the very conditions of production, especially the supposed shift from a Fordist to post-Fordist economy: the blurring of the distinction between work and life, the increasing importance of what has been called immaterial, communicative, or affective labor, as well as the overall dismantling of the security and stability of work in general. As we analyze the transformations of the affective composition of labor, pointing to the current fear and anxiety of precarity, unemployment, debt, we will underscore labor not only as a matter of economics but also power and subjection: the subjective effects of labor, the time-space of the body in relation to labor, the working body, the reproductive body, the fatigued body, the body at rest, the idling or drifiting body, the body on strike. This history of art will be studied alongside different histories and theories of labor. Seminar discussions will be supplemented with screenings, visits to galleries and museums, participation in artists’ talks.

College: Eugene Lang College Lib Arts (LC)

Department: The Arts (LARS)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Modality: In-Person

Max Enrollment: 18

Add/Drop Deadline: N/A
Online Withdrawal Deadline: N/A

Seats Available: Yes

Status: Open*

* Status information is updated every few minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 4:24pm 8/19/2022 EDT

Meeting Info:

Days: Monday, Wednesday

Times: 2:00pm - 3:40pm

Building: TBD

Room: TBD

Date Range: 1/23/2023 - 5/15/2023