The project was articulated in Madrid’s Matadero art centre through its central element, The Transparent Entity, which is, simultaneously, a public space for dialogue and an autonomous art space.
The Transparent Entity is a device consisting in a number of audiovisual pieces, an amphitheatre, and a dark room.
Through the Transparent Entity, we presented a space inscribed into the logic of an autonomous art work, but which would, at the same them, generate a relational space in which the visitors could participate by incorporating their own experiences and points of view. We are especially interested in generating alternatives and lines of discussion on the new forms of labour, which is the reason why we developed the possibility to organise Public Assemblies on the subject of work and labour relations in the amphitheatre of The Transparent Entity.
Formally, The Transparent Entity is materialised in a central space of reunion, rather like an amphitheatre, surrounded by projection screens. The films screened have been produced on the basis of our work of research, interviewing real people; and with he animation of four fictional characters. Closing off the amphitheatre, there’s a small darkroom, which holds a fourth screen, where the documentation from the Public Assemblies is incrementally collected, as well as an animated explanation of the project’s conceptual Decalogue. Inside the room we find the audio installation “A Job for Life”, which is derived from a series of interviews with representatives of three generations of the same Spanish family, with intention of providing a trans-generational reading which can introduce the viewer into a more intimate relationship with the subject matter.
The audiovisual material on view in the Entity consists in:
- Animations of the four fictional characters which make us engage the current reality of work: Serial Burdened, Distracted Unfocussed, Infinite Profit, and the twins Spontaneous Abundance and Programmed Necessity.
- A 30-minute film presented as a synthesis and narrative based on the interviews we did with about 60 people, which engages their relate to work, and, at the same time, presents a diagnosis of their current problems.
- The nature of the films and animations present a critical logic which is complemented by the proposals put forward in the debates and dialogues in the Public Assemblies.
The Transparent Entity alludes, metaphorically, to a gaseous substance, which takes over the entirety of space, but which is hard to locate or pinpoint.
The shape and form of this Entity, capable of very effectively conditioning the reality of our lives, is unknown to us, and it is under stress and pressure. It is related to the concept of labour, beyond its dimension of retributed work, and attempts to reveal its implications with regards to the construction of identity and the affective economy, to the processes of subjectivity construction, to the relationship with the other.
We want to engage these issues publicly, in order to be able to, through this identification, acquire a set of collective references for possible futures.
Labour is a hard to define concept, not only because of how close we are to it in our everyday lives, but also as a consequence of the current state of economical, ethical and life values.
The Transparent Entity also represents the spirit of the surplus, of the excess, of what has been wasted nowadays.
It has to do with Bataille’s notion of excess, of the the capitalist system’s programmed necessity for constant profit, with the Marxist notion of added value, both concepts being typical of the societies of control, which, since defined by Deleuze, have given rise to a large body of literature on the contemporary forms of power and the development of a certain understanding of labour.
The Transparent Entity also has an appendix, or an open work area, permanently in the making, which we call the Foundry, which is where the public can have access to the Decalogue, a library and a media archive.