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Surplus3: Labour and the Digital

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A symposium celebrating the publication of Nick Dyer-Witheford’s Cyber-Proletariat: Global Labour in the Digital Vortex (Pluto Press/Between the Lines)


A Letters & Handshakes event in partnership with the Digital Labour Group (University of Western Ontario)

Tuesday, October 20, 2015
7:00-9:00pm

Bahen Centre for Information Technology
University of Toronto
40 St. George St.
Room BA1180

Free and open to the public

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Please join us as we explore a conceptual vocabulary for grasping the contested intersection of labour and the digital in contemporary capitalism. Marking the recent publication of Nick Dyer-Witheford’s book, Cyber-Proletariat: Global Labour in the Digital Vortex, the Surplus3 symposium will open with 3-minute talks by ten guest presenters, each of whom will speak to one concept. These flash talks will be followed by a presentation by Dyer-Witheford and a collective conversation with our guests moderated by Alison Hearn.

Surplus3: Labour and the Digital will be followed in early 2016 by a freely distributed publication of the same title, designed by Chris Lee, and featuring work by Public Studio.

Guests + concepts
Marcus Boon: depropriation | Brett Caraway: connective action | Nicole Cohen: hustle | Deb Cowen: logistics | Nick-Dyer-Witheford: Cyber-Proletariat | datejie cheko green: intersectional solidarity | Carla Lipsig-Mummé: climate@work | Sarah Roberts: in/visibility | Kamilla Petrick: acceleration | Indu Vashist: indigenisation | Yi Wang: the wage

Moderator: Alison Hearn

Participant bios
Marcus Boon is Professor of English at York University in Toronto. He is the author of The Road of Excess: A History of Writers on Drugs and In Praise of Copying (Harvard University Press, 2002 and 2010), and co-author with Timothy Morton and Eric Cazdyn of Nothing: Three Inquiries in Buddhism (University of Chicago Press, 2015). He edited Subduing Demons in America: Selected Poems of John Giorno (Soft Skull, 2008). He writes about music and sound for The Wire, Boing Boing and others.

Brett Caraway is a professor at the University of Toronto where he teaches courses in economics, law, and media studies. His research focuses on the intersections of information and communications technology, intellectual property, labour, and collective action. His most recent contributions include the application of Marxian crisis theory to the economics of online social media and an examination of how workers fighting for better working conditions at Walmart use contemporary communication technologies in class struggle.

Nicole Cohen is an assistant professor at ICCIT and the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto. She researches the political economy of media labour and collective organizing and is finishing a book on freelance journalists’ labour conditions. She is part of the collaborative research project Cultural Workers Organize.

Deb Cowen is Associate Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Toronto. Deb’s research explores the making of intimacy, economy, space, and citizenship through warfare. Deb is the author of The Deadly Life of Logistics: Mapping Violence in Global Trade; Military Workfare: The Soldier and Social Citizenship in Canada; and co-editor, with Emily Gilbert, of War, Citizenship, Territory. Deb edits the journal Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, and the Geographies of Justice and Social Transformation book series at UGA Press. Deb serves on the board of the Groundswell Community Justice Trust Fund in Toronto.

Nick Dyer-Witheford, an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Information and Media Studies at the University of Western Ontario, is the author of Cyber-Marx: Cycles and Circuits of Struggle in High Technology Capitalism (University of Illinois Press, 1999) and Cyber-Proletariat: Global Labour in the Digital Vortex (Pluto Press, 2015).

datejie cheko green is currently Asper Fellow in Media at the Faculty of Information and Media Studies at the University of Western Ontario. She is consolidating more than two decades of professional and community experiences organizing and building capacity among marginalized groups in cultural, media, social justice, non-profit, and labour sectors.

Alison Hearn is an associate professor in the Faculty of Information and Media Studies at the University of Western Ontario in Canada, and is also the past president of Western’s faculty union. Her research focuses on the intersections of promotional culture, new media, self-presentation, and new forms of labour and economic value. She also writes on the university as a cultural and political site.

Chris Lee is a graphic designer and educator based in Toronto and Buffalo. He is a graduate of OCAD and the Sandberg Institute (Amsterdam). While at the Sandberg, his work focused on speculative visualizations of (alternative) currencies, and their attendant institutions and ephemera. Chris is a member of the programming committee at Gendai Gallery, the editorial board of the journal Scapegoat, and is an Associate Professor of Graphic Design at the University at Buffalo SUNY.

Carla Lipsig-Mummé, Professor of Work and Labour Studies at York University, is a leading scholar on labour, work, and climate change. Beginning her working life organizing farmworkers and garment workers in the US, in Quebec Carla worked with the CSN and CSQ. She now heads two SSHRC projects and a labour-academic team studying labour’s potential role in slowing global warming. Her recent publications include Climate@Work (Fernwood, 2013) and with Steve McBride, Work in a Warming World (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2015).

Kamilla Petrick is a post-doctoral researcher in the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies at Lakehead University and a lecturer in Communication Studies at York University. She has a doctorate in political science and two prior degrees in media studies. A long-time activist, in her doctoral dissertation she examined the history of the global justice movement in Canada using a temporal theoretical perspective. Her research interests include collective memory, digital culture, social movements, and temporality.

Public Studio is the collective art practice of filmmaker Elle Flanders and architect Tamira Sawatzky. Their multidisciplinary practice spans a wide range of topics such as war and militarization, globalization, ecology, and political dissent. Their most recent work includes The Accelerators (2015), an exhibition about trade, colonialism, and a networked constellation of events; Drone Wedding (2014), an eight-channel film installation examining surveillance in the everyday; and Visit Palestine: Change Your View (2014), in which they turned their art studio into a travel agency running tours to the West Bank.

Sarah T. Roberts is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Information and Media Studies at the University of Western Ontario. Her academic and research interests are focused on digital labour and ‘knowledge work,’ and the reconfigurations of labour and production in a post-industrial, globalized context.

Indu Vashist is currently the Executive Director of SAVAC (South Asian Visual Arts Centre) in Toronto. She has extensive experience working within organized labour organizations and with unorganized immigrant and refugee workers. Her research interests include digital labour and labour facilitated through the internet. She is currently researching auto drivers in Chennai who use apps to find clients.

Yi Wang is a PhD student in Geography at the University of Toronto and engages with contemporary food workers’ movements across the US as sites and forces of hegemonic struggle. His approach focuses on how the production of space is tied up with formations and articulations of race, class, gender, and nation. Yi has worked with food justice and worker organizations and studied previously at UC Berkeley and UC Davis.

Acknowledgements
We wish to thank the Digital Labour Group at the University of Western Ontario for generously supporting this project.

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Open Source Cancer: Hackers and Biodigital Rituals of Sharing

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Alessandro Delfanti in conversation with Eric Cazdyn, Irene Healey, Pantea Razzaghi, and Dolores Steinman
Moderated by Roberta Buiani

Presented by Letters & Handshakes and ArtSci Salon

Sponsored by the Dean of Arts Office, Faculty of Arts, Wilfrid Laurier University and supported by the Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences

Monday, July 21, 2014
6:00-8:00pm

The Fields Institute
University of Toronto
222 College St.
Room 230

Free and open to the public

Please join us for a conversation exploring the politics of cure at the intersection of open science, network culture, clinical practice, and biocapitalism. A presentation by Alessandro Delfanti on the concept of a biodigital ritual of sharing will be followed by talks by theorist Eric Cazdyn and medical artist Irene Healey, with responses from researcher Dolores Steinman and science communicator Pantea Razzaghi.

Alessandro Delfanti | Open Source Cancer: Hackers and Biodigital Rituals of Sharing

Through the website La Cura (the cure), the Italian designer and hacker Salvatore Iaconesi open sourced his cancer. He shared medical data and information related to his brain tumor and received hundreds of thousands of cures from patients, physicians, activists, artists, designers, and other peers. His condition was turned into a global performance of de-medicalization. In order to do this, he had to hack his medical records and convert them into open formats, to make data easily readable and shareable, as well as to construct an inclusive understanding of the word “cure”. Beginning from the case of La Cura, in this presentation, Delfanti will propose the concept of a “biodigital ritual of sharing”, a protocol or script, dense with meaning, that is adapted from hacker cultures’ public practices: hack into data owned by institutions, share them in the open, and build a community which can make unpredictable use of the data. While in the context of medical institutions data represented an objectification of the body, their reinscription through the ritual helped constitute a body politic that could interpret them as a symbol for a reconfiguration of the experience of cancer. Against techno-determinist utopias of distributed innovation, Delfanti analyzes the biopolitical side of open source. Following feminist theory, he suggests that, when facing illness and disability, digital cultures imagine and perform technologies as social and relational rather than bodily prosthesis.

Eric Cazdyn | Cure as Form

Irene Healey | (Re)membering: Observations on the Desire for Restoration After an Altered Identity

Discussants | Pantea Razzaghi and Dolores Steinman

Guests

Alessandro Delfanti is a postdoctoral fellow at the research hub Media@McGill at McGill University, where he works on the role of participatory media in biomedicine and teaches a seminar on Online Cooperation. Before moving to Quebec he obtained a PhD in Science and Society and then taught Sociology of New Media at the University of Milan. In Fall 2014, he will begin a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, Davis, where he will work on the evolution of scholarly communication. As a journalist he writes about science politics and digital cultures for several Italian newspapers and magazines. His first book is titled Biohackers: The Politics of Open Science (Pluto Press 2013).

Eric Cazdyn is Distinguished Professor of Aesthetics and Politics at the University of Toronto. He teaches courses on critical and cultural theory, psychoanalysis, Marxism, film and video, architecture, illness, literature, and Japan. He has written the following books: The Already Dead, After Globalization (with Imre Szeman), and The Flash of Capital; and is editor of Trespasses and Disastrous Consequences. Cazdyn’s newest book, Nothing (with Marcus Boon and Timothy Morton), is an attempt to reclaim for our present moment three desires that are regularly laughed out of polite conversation: “Enlightenment”, “Cure”, and “Revolution”. Cazdyn is also a filmmaker. His films have been screened and performed in Japan, Canada, the US, Europe and, most recently, in the UK as part of a two-week residency at The Cube Microcinema (Bristol) with Eric Chenaux.

Irene Healey is a practising visual artist and a medical artist who maintains an independent clinical practise seeing individuals for custom made external body prostheses. She combines her knowledge of art and science with medicine and technology. She is a graduate of the Art as Applied to Medicine program in the College of Medicine at the University of Toronto.

Pantea Razzaghi is Chief Culture/Design Officer of Synbiota Inc.. She is responsible for the culture, communication and design of the Synbiota open science platform. With a strong focus on simplifying complex scientific workflows and interactions, Pantea keeps a close eye on various cultural pockets incubating in the sphere of open science, and applies those findings to create useful, intuitive and enjoyable user experiences optimized towards scientific discovery for the masses.

Dolores Steinman was trained as a Paediatrician and, upon relocating to Canada, obtained her PhD in Cell Biology. Currently she is a Research Associate in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Toronto and a volunteer Docent at the Art Gallery of Ontario. In her research she observes the rapport and the connection between medical imagery and its non-scientific counterparts. Her pursuit is driven by her keen interest in placing increasingly technology-based medical research in the larger context of the humanities.

Roberta Buiani is a researcher, activist, and media artist based in Toronto. She is the co-founder of the ArtSci Salon at the Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences at the University of Toronto and acts as program advisor for the Subtle Technologies Festival. Roberta teaches in the Department of Communication Studies at York University.

 

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Remaking Cultural Relations: Artistic Livelihoods and Collective Alternatives

Joint book launch + panel discussion

Guests: Carole Condé + Karl Beveridge | Kirsten Forkert | datejie cheko green | Chris Lee | Michael Maranda | Bryan D. Palmer

Co-organized by Letters & Handshakes and Cultural Workers Organize in partnership with A Space Gallery

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Saturday, March 29, 2014
7:00-9:00pm

Free and open to the public

A Space Gallery
401 Richmond St. West, Suite 110
Toronto, ON

Please join us for a panel conversation about the socio-economic conditions of cultural work as well as past and present collective organizing, campaign, and policy efforts to protect and improve artistic livelihoods. “Remaking Cultural Relations” marks the release of two publications addressing intersections of art, labour, and precarity–Kirsten Forkert’s Artistic Lives: A Study of Creativity in Two European Cities, recently published by Ashgate, and Precarious: Carole Condé + Karl Beveridge, an exhibition catalogue, designed by Chris Lee, accompanying Condé and Beveridge’s current exhibition, Precarious, at the Robert Langen Art Gallery, Wilfrid Laurier University (March 5 – April 12, 2014).

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Guests

Carole Condé + Karl Beveridge live and work in Toronto. They have collaborated with various trade union and community organizations in the production of their staged photographic and banner work over the past thirty years. Their work has been exhibited across Canada and internationally in the trade union movement as well as art galleries and museums. Their work has been included in exhibitions at the Noorderlicht Photofestival, Groningen, the Netherlands (2013), Manif d’art – The Québec City Biennial (2014), and Really Useful Knowledge, Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid (2014). Condé and Beveridge received an Honourary Doctorate from OCAD University in 2010, the Cesar Chavez Black Eagle Cultural Award from the United Food and Commercial Workers, Canada in 2011, and the Prix de mérite artistique from the Université du Québec à Montréal in 2013.

Kirsten Forkert, originally from an arts background, is a researcher and activist. She teaches cultural studies in the School of Media at Birmingham City University (BCU) and holds a PhD from Goldsmiths, University of London. She has been involved in a variety of campaigns and organizations, including autonomous social centres, anti-cuts campaigns, trade union activism, and anti-racism; she is currently involved with Birmingham Radical Education and is also branch secretary of the BCU branch of the Universities and Colleges Union. Prior to moving to the UK she was involved in a number of organizations in Canada and the US. Her writing has been published in Third TextCITYMute, and Variant, as well as various edited collections.

datejie cheko green is an experienced organizer, media producer, educator, facilitator, researcher, and strategist. She has twenty-five years combined experience in labour, community non-profit, arts, media, and public sectors. In all her roles, datejie promotes the meaningful participation, analysis, and concerns of equity-seeking groups, and uses a historically grounded, de-colonial, intersectional, and social justice approach. Over her work life, datejie has been a precarious member of ten unions.

Chris Lee is a graphic designer based in Toronto. While pursuing his Master of Design at the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam (2008-2010), he began to focus on reflexive work about graphic design and its political economy. This led him to engage in a study of alternative/complementary currencies, and to consider currency as a thing through which to read/articulate and exercise a political dimension of graphic design. He has facilitated workshops on currency and graphic design in Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Glasgow, Portland, and Zagreb. He is an editorial board member of the journal Scapegoat: Landscape, Architecture, Political Economy, serves on the Board of Directors for Art Metropole, and is a member of the programming committee of Gendai Gallery. He is a sessional instructor in the Graphic Design Department at OCADU.

Michael Maranda is an artist and arts administrator who lives and works in Toronto. Currently an assistant curator at the Art Gallery of York University, he was associate publisher for Fuse magazine for six years. In 2008, he conducted the Waging Culture survey, a study of the socio-economic status of visual artists in Canada. He is currently working on the analysis of the next iteration of the study. More information on the study is available here.

Bryan D. Palmer, editor of Labour/Le Travail and one of Canada’s leading social and working-class historians, is the Canada Research Chair in Canadian Studies at Trent University. He has published on precarious labour in the Socialist Register (2014) and his most recent book, Revolutionary Teamsters: The Minneapolis Teamsters’ Strikes of 1934, appeared in 2013. In 2014, Brill will issue a two-volume collection of his essays, Marxism and Historical Practice, in the Historical Materialism book series.

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Precarious: Carole Condé + Karl Beveridge

A curatorial partnership between Letters & Handshakes and Robert Langen Art Gallery 

Liberty Lost G20_webimage credit: Liberty Lost (G20, Toronto), 2010, courtesy of the artists

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EXHIBITION
Robert Langen Art Gallery
Wilfrid Laurier University
Waterloo, ON
75 University Ave. West

March 5 – April 12, 2014
12:00-5:00pm | Weds.-Sat.

ARTISTS’ TALK & BOOK LAUNCH
March 18, 2014, 1:30-4:00pm

PANEL CONVERSATION
Getting a Foot in the Door? Debating Unpaid Internships
March 18, 2014, 4:00-5:30pm

SCREENING & Q&A WITH FILMMAKERS
Portrait of Resistance: The Art & Activism of Carole Condé & Karl Beveridge (2012)
March 27, 2014, 7:00-9:00pm

Precarious is an exhibition of works spanning 1980-2011 by Toronto-based artists Carole Condé and Karl Beveridge, whose collaborative practice of staged photography addresses workers’ rights, capitalist crisis, environmental degradation, and social movements. The title of the exhibition is borrowed from Precarious (2010), a series that Condé and Beveridge developed in collaboration with part-time college support staff members and the Ontario Public Service Employees Union. Providing commentary on work and social identities, on the differential manifestations of precarity, and on the persistent efforts of working people to challenge the political economy of dispossession, the show includes, among other work, Class Maintenance (2003), Cultural Relations (2005), Salt of the Earth (2008), and Liberty Lost (G20, Toronto) (2010).

In the catalogue accompanying the exhibition, the historian Bryan D. Palmer writes:

In listening to their subjects as well as working with them to create a theatre of representation, Condé and Beveridge blur the distinctions between art and work, aesthetics and politics, image and actuality. Just as they insist that art must break with its own isolations—ensconced within institutions, sanctioned by connoisseurs and critics, supported by well-heeled patrons—Condé and Beveridge’s creative methods integrate the production of art with a politics of contestation, in which the artistry of labour and the work of representation are paired in a project of political illumination. The result is a rare, resolute, and rich body of social commentary, a visual cavalcade imaginatively identifying the ways in which everyday people confront the sources of complaint in their lives.

Exploring connections between the show’s organizing theme and its diverse publics, the Precarious exhibition is extended by a program of public events, including an artists’ talk, catalogue launch, and panel about unpaid internships on March 18th, and a screening of Portrait of Resistance: The Art & Activism of Carole Condé and Karl Beveridge on March 27th.

Carole Condé + Karl Beveridge live and work in Toronto. They have collaborated with various trade union and community organizations in the production of their staged photographic and banner work over the past thirty years. Their work has been exhibited across Canada and internationally in the trade union movement as well as art galleries and museums. Their work has been included in exhibitions at the Noorderlicht Photofestival, Groningen, the Netherlands (2013), Manif d’art – The Québec City Biennial (2014), and Really Useful Knowledge, Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid (2014). Condé and Beveridge received an Honourary Doctorate from OCAD University in 2010, the Cesar Chavez Black Eagle Cultural Award from the United Food and Commercial Workers, Canada in 2011, and the Prix de mérite artistique from the Université du Québec à Montréal in 2013. Condé and Beveridge are members of CARFAC/CARCC.

Acknowledgements
Letters & Handshakes and the Robert Langen Art Gallery are grateful to the Canada Council for the Arts; Ontario Arts Council; Council for the Intellectual and Cultural Development of the Arts, Wilfrid Laurier University; Dr. Abby Goodrum, Vice-President: Research, Wilfrid Laurier University; Canada Research Chair in Canadian Studies, Trent University; Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada; University Community Relations, Wilfrid Laurier University; Department of Communication Studies, Wilfrid Laurier University; Cultural Workers Organize; Ghislain Thibault; Jessica Fanning; Chris Lee; and Thistle Printing Ltd. And a special thank you to Carole Condé and Karl Beveridge.

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Artists’ Talk & Book Launch: Precarious: Carole Condé + Karl Beveridge

CondeBeverdigeItsStillPrivilegedArt01Cover1975image credit: It’s Still Privileged Art (1975), courtesy of the artists

Tuesday, March 18, 2014
1:30-2:30pm (talk)
2:30-4:00pm (reception & book launch)

Maureen Forrester Recital Hall Foyer, John Aird Centre
Wilfrid Laurier University
75 University Ave. West
Waterloo, ON

Join us for an artists’ talk by Carole Condé and Karl Beveridge in conjunction with their exhibition, Precarious, at the Robert Langen Art Gallery, Wilfrid Laurier University. Condé and Beveridge will speak about their show in relation to work, its social value, and representation; their process of collaboration; and their involvement in collective efforts to improve the socio-economic conditions of visual artists in Canada.

The talk will be followed by a reception to launch the accompanying exhibition catalogue, Precarious: Carole Condé + Karl Beveridge, designed by Chris Lee and edited by Letters & Handshakes. Featuring 42 images, the book includes an essay about Condé and Beveridge’s work by Bryan D. Palmer (Canada Research Chair in Canadian Studies, Trent University) and an interview with Condé and Beveridge about art worker activism by Nicole S. Cohen and Greig de Peuter.

The reception will be followed by a panel conversation–Getting a Foot in the Door? Debating Unpaid Internships.

Carole Condé + Karl Beveridge live and work in Toronto. They have collaborated with various trade union and community organizations in the production of their staged photographic and banner work over the past thirty years. Their work has been exhibited across Canada and internationally in the trade union movement as well as art galleries and museums. Their work has been included in exhibitions at the Noorderlicht Photofestival, Groningen, the Netherlands (2013), Manif d’art – The Québec City Biennial (2014), and Really Useful Knowledge, Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid (2014). Condé and Beveridge received an Honourary Doctorate from OCAD University in 2010, the Cesar Chavez Black Eagle Cultural Award from the United Food and Commercial Workers, Canada in 2011, and the Prix de mérite artistique from the Université du Québec à Montréal in 2013. Conde + Beveridgé are members of CARFAC/CARCC.

Funding for this event is generously provided by the Council for the Intellectual and Cultural Development of the Arts and the Department of Communication Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University.

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Exhibition Catalogue: Precarious: Carole Condé + Karl Beveridge

Precarious_COVERimage credit: Chris Lee

Precarious: Carole Condé + Karl Beveridge
Published by Robert Langen Art Gallery.
Edited by Letters & Handshakes.
Designed by Chris Lee.

Table of Contents

Liberty Lost (G20, Toronto)

Foreword

by Suzanne Luke

List of Works Exhibited

Introduction: Picturing Precarity
by Letters & Handshakes

The Unbearable Precariousness of Working and Artistic Being: The Labours of Carole Condé + Karl Beveridge
by Bryan D. Palmer

Work | Carole Condé + Karl Beveridge

     Cultural Relations
     Work in Progress
     Multiple Exposures: A Pre- to Post-Colonial Landscape
     Ill Wind
     Class Maintenance
     Salt of the Earth
     Calling the Shots
     Precarious

Cultural Workers Organize

Building Infrastructure: An Interview with Carole Condé + Karl Beveridge
by Nicole S. Cohen and Greig de Peuter

Program

Biographies

Acknowledgements

Colophon

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Panel Conversation: Getting a Foot in the Door? Debating Unpaid Internships

This event is part of Precarious: Carole Condé + Karl Beveridge

InternsUniteImageimage credit: Shantala Robinson

Tuesday, March 18, 2014
4:00-5:30pm

Maureen Forrester Recital Hall Foyer, John Aird Centre
Wilfrid Laurier University
75 University Ave. West
Waterloo, ON

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Are you considering an internship? Have you ever been an intern? Are students increasingly expected to work for free to break into a career? What are the legalities of interning in Ontario? Is unpaid work more common in more glamorous industries? How are interns and their supporters fighting for fair compensation and meaningful experiences for interns?

Join us for a student-oriented panel discussion about the ins and outs of internships with former interns, intern rights’ advocates, and legal experts:

Andrew Langille, lawyer
Jainna Patel, former intern
Claire Seaborn, founder of the Canadian Intern Association
Agata Zieba, former intern and Laurier graduate

Arrive early! This panel is tied to Precarious: Carole Condé + Karl Beveridge, an exhibition at the Robert Langen Art Gallery, Wilfrid Laurier University. Prior to the panel, 1:30-2:30pm, Condé and Beveridge will give a talk about the exhibition in relation to issues of work and social identity, precarious employment, and collective organizing. There will be an informal catered reception at 2:30 to 4:00pm.

Funding for this event is generously provided by the Council for the Intellectual and Cultural Development of the Arts at Wilfrid Laurier University.

Panelists

Andrew Langille is a Toronto-based labour lawyer and an internationally recognized labour law scholar. His research for his LL.M. at Osgoode Hall Law School focused on the regulation of employment standards during the school-to-labour market transition. He has conducted much of the initial research on unpaid internships in Canada. He currently acts as the General Counsel for the Canadian Intern Association and advises other advocacy organizations focused on precarious work. His work has been utilized by a large number of organizations, including the Tax Court of Canada, the Law Commission of Ontario, and Australia’s Fair Work Ombudsman.

Jainna Patel holds a Bachelor of Science in math and statistics from McMaster University in Hamilton. In 2012, she filed a federal labour complaint against Bell Mobility after spending five weeks as an unpaid intern in its Professional Management Program in Mississauga. Patel is a member of the Canadian Intern Association and is currently happily employed with ACNielsen Company of Canada in Markham.

Claire Seaborn is founder and president of the Canadian Intern Association and a third-year law student at the University of Ottawa. She had positive experiences as an unpaid intern at the Canadian Embassy in Washington and the Ministry of the Attorney General in Toronto, but is concerned about illegal and exploitative internships. Seaborn has appeared on national television (The Lang and O’Leary Exchange), radio (CBC Metro Morning, Cross Country Checkup with Rex Murphy), and in print media (The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, iPolitics, The Huffington Post) to discuss issues facing interns in Canada. Beginning in August, Claire will be articling in Toronto at Torkin Manes LLP.

Agata Zieba, MA, is currently a communications officer at West Park Foundation in Toronto. She holds a Bachelor of Journalism from Ryerson University and received her Master of Arts in 2012 from the Department of Communication Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University, where she completed a Major Research Paper titled Assessing Internships in Canada’s Magazine Industry. As a former intern at Weddingbells and Chatelaine magazines, her interest in the internship issue stems from her personal experiences.

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Screening: Portrait of Resistance: The Art & Activism of Carole Condé & Karl Beveridge (2012)

This event is part of Precarious: Carole Condé + Karl Beveridge

PortraitOfResistance

A documentary by Roz Owen and Jim Miller, anti-amnesiac Productions
Screening followed by Q&A with filmmakers

Free and open to the public

Thursday, March 27, 2014
7:00-9:00pm

1E1, Arts E Wing
Wilfrid Laurier University
75 University Ave. West
Waterloo, ON

As the wealth-divide and environmental crises grip public awareness, the world is finally catching up to the vision and ideas of Carole Condé and Karl Beveridge—pioneering artist-activists who have been working for social change since the mid-‘70s. Inspired by the artists’ visual innovations and feisty wit, Portrait of Resistance intimately captures Condé and Beveridge as they create provocative staged photographs about the rights of workers, the environment, and the global financial crisis.

Roz Owen and Jim Miller formed anti-amnesiac Productions in 2006 to produce their independent film and video projects. Owen is an award-winning director/writer who works in drama and documentary. Miller is an editor/producer who has been producing socially engaged documentary in a range of media disciplines for over twenty years. Their short documentary, Community Matters, won the 2008 OAAG Best Visual Art Film award. Their feature documentary, Portrait of Resistance: The Art & Activism of Carole Condé & Karl Beveridge, has won critical acclaim at festivals, art galleries, and community screenings nationally and internationally. Owen, currently teaching film production at Ryerson University’s School of Image Arts, is preparing to direct her feature length dramatic film, Pippas’ Keeper. Miller is developing an ambitious curatorial project that will mark four decades of Condé and Beveridge’s pioneering art and activism.

Funding for this event is generously provided by the Council for the Intellectual and Cultural Development of the Arts at Wilfrid Laurier University.

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Pedagogies and Politics of Debt – Reading Group

Join us for a reading group on the pedagogies and politics of debt.

DATE: Wednesday, July 24, 7pm
LOCATION: Rooftop deck of 275 Gilmour Avenue, Toronto (in the Junction – south of Dundas, east of Runnymede)
BYOB

READINGS

Jeffrey Williams, “The Pedagogy of Debt.”
Steve Fraser, “The Politics of Debt in America.”

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Exit Strategies

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Celebrating the launch of TOPIA: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies (28) “Out of the Ruins, the University to Come,” edited by Bob Hanke and Alison Hearn

Irfan Ali (The Academy of the Impossible) | Maria Alejandrina Coates, Rodrigo Hernandez-Gomez, and Arlan Londoño (Decolonial Aesthetics from the Americas) | Nick Dyer-Witheford (University of Western Ontario) | Sandra Jeppesen (Lakehead University) | Justin Langlois (Broken City Lab) | Maiko Tanaka (The Grand Domestic Revolution)

Sat. April 20, 2013
3:00-5:00pm
Onsite [at] OCAD U
230 Richmond St. West
Toronto, ON

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Accumulation by student debt. Precarization of education workers. Dependence on corporate donations. Emphasis on research commercialization. Intensification of academic managerialism… Neoliberal transformations of the university coincide with growing interest in co-research, free schools, and education-oriented art practice. Bringing together individuals working within and across educational, activist, and artistic fields, Exit Strategies assesses some of the fault lines in universities today—but also links that conversation to a counter-current of experimentation in research, pedagogy, and institution formation occurring at the margins of the university system.

As sites of knowledge production become increasingly enclosed, what new practices of education are unfolding simultaneously in neighbourhoods, in homes, and in classrooms?

How is pedagogical possibility enabled and constrained by the setting in which we teach, learn, and research?

Refusing to romanticize a ‘lost’ university or idealize ‘alternative’ practices, here exit strategies are about evicting neoliberal imperatives from educational institutions; affirming commitments to radical pedagogy, basic research, and critical inquiry that continue to animate the university; constructing autonomous education projects and pursuing disruptive pedagogies that strive to forefront non-capitalist sociality and anti-oppression; amplifying transversal relays across diverse sites for action-oriented research; and sharing insights between those voicing a critique of the university from within and those inventing new institutions and pedagogies from without.

TOPIA (28)

Bob Hanke and Alison Hearn, “Introduction: Out of the Ruins, the University to Come.”

Speakers

Irfan Ali is a writer, educator, and the operations manager of the Academy of the Impossible. The Academy is an open source social enterprise in west-end Toronto that opened in December 2011. Ali works primarily with Impossible Arts, the organization’s arts wing, coordinating and leading writing and art programs for Toronto youth and adults. In just over one year the Academy has become a hub for workshops, events, and groups that focus on innovative educational techniques. Impossible Arts runs four main programs: Toronto Street Writers (a writing group), Sound Poets’ Circle (a hip hop and spoken word workshop), Impossible Words (a literary salon), and Fright Film Academy (a film workshop). Ali’s background is in commerce and education and he has previously worked with organizations such as the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto, Pathways to Education – Regent Park, and the Christie-Ossington Neighbourhood Centre.

Maria Alejandrina Coates, Rodrigo Hernandez-Gomez, and Arlan Londoño are the organizers of Decolonial Aesthetics from the Americas, a multidisciplinary and collaborative symposium for artists and scholars of the Americas and the Caribbean, featuring performances, artist presentations, workshops, online components, and papers. In collaboration with FUSE Magazine, a special issue, to be published in September 2013, will serve as a reader for this event.

Nick Dyer-Witheford is Associate Professor and Associate Dean of the Faculty of Information and Media Studies at University of Western Ontario. He is author of Cyber-Marx: Cycles and Circuits of Struggle in High-Technology Capitalism (University of Illinois, 1999), and co-author, with Stephen Kline and Greig de Peuter, of Digital Play: The Interaction of Technology, Culture, and Marketing (McGill-Queen’s, 2003), and with Greig de Peuter of Games of Empire: Global Capitalism and Video Games (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2009). He is currently working on a manuscript provisionally titled The Global Worker and the Digital Front.

Sandra Jeppesen is an Assistant Professor of Media Studies, and the creator of the new Media Studies for Social Change program in the Interdisciplinary Studies Department at Lakehead University in Orillia. With Holly Nazar, she contributed the essay “Beyond Academic Freedom: Canadian Neoliberal Universities in the Global Context” to TOPIA (28).

Justin Langlois is the co-founder and research director of Broken City Lab, and is currently an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Windsor. In the fall, he will join the Faculty of Culture and Community at Emily Carr University of Art and Design.

Maiko Tanaka collaborates on curatorial projects at the intersections of art, pedagogy, and collective action. Since 2010 she’s been working on The Grand Domestic Revolution with Casco (Utrecht) where she co-curated projects with ASK!, a collective of art workers in affinity with domestic workers, Our Autonomous Life?, a cooperatively produced sitcom on the Dutch squatting movement, and Read-in, a nomadic reading group that goes door to door searching for hosts for their reading sessions. During her residency at the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery she organized Extra-curricular, an international conference presenting lectures, workshops and architectures that mobilize radical pedagogical art practices. Currently Maiko writes a column for FUSE on the political economies of public programming and serves as a board member of Gendai.

Acknowledgements

Letters & Handshakes gratefully recognizes support from the Cultural Studies Program, Wilfrid Laurier University | Onsite [at] OCAD U | TOPIA: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies

Featured

Argentina as Political Laboratory: Crisis, Governmentality, and New Social Conflict

Public lecture by Verónica Gago and Diego Sztulwark, Colectivo Situaciones, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Introduced by Sebastián Touza

Friday, Nov. 16, 2012
7:30-9:30pm 

Location: RCC 204, Rogers Communications Building
Ryerson University, 80 Gould Street
Toronto, ON – Google Map

The moments of political and economic crisis in Argentina in 2001–specifically the 19th and 20th of December–do not merely mark an event, a day, or even a year. Rather, 2001 is an active principle, a key to thinking about this past decade from the perspective of the crisis of neoliberalism between impasse and insurrection. It is a method, a way of looking by seeing the crisis in motion and in time. It becomes a premise with multiple meanings, spaces, and temporalities.

Verónica Gago and Diego Sztulwark are members of Colectivo Situaciones and of the Buenos Aires-based radical press Tinta Limón. Colectivo Situaciones is a collective of militant researchers based in Buenos Aires. For more than twelve years, they have participated in numerous grassroots militant-research projects with unemployed workers, peasant movements, human rights groups, neighborhood assemblies, and alternative education experiments. Their published works include several articles and books, among them, Genocide in the Neighborhood (Chainlinks, 2010) and 19&20: Notes for a New Social Protagonism (Minor Compositions, 2011).

Sebastián Touza has participated in the translation of works by Colectivo Situaciones, including 19&20 and several articles.

This public lecture is part of the series “Delicate Craft Labour: Research, Precarity, Crisis,” which is generously supported by the Dean of Arts Office, Wilfrid Laurier University; the Cultural Studies Program, Wilfrid Laurier University; the Infoscape Centre for the Study of Social Media, Ryerson University; and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Featured

Fighting Foreclosed Futures: Politics of Student Debt

Fighting Foreclosed Futures: Politics of Student Debt
Talk + Strategize with Andrew Ross, Sarah Jayne King, and Alison Hearn

Friday, October 19, 2012
7:30-9:00pm (party afterward)
The Ossington (back space: The Shipping Room)
61 Ossington Ave.
Toronto, ON

Andrew Ross
Member of Occupy Wall Street Strike Debt Assembly + Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis, New York University

Sarah Jayne King
Chairperson, Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario

Facilitated by Alison Hearn
Faculty of Information and Media Studies, Western University

Background
“Is Student Debt Immoral?”

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