“Do Androids dream of surplus value? Robotic Labor Exploitation and the Falling Rate of Profit”
Performative Lecture given by Kal Spelletich & Eddie Yuen who will ask the question of where profit will come from, if the much ballyhooed robotic future arrives as scheduled. And what better way to play with this issue than with some of artist Kal Spelletich’s robots, especially the ones that engage in “affective labor?”
About Kal Spelletich
Kal Spelletich was born and raised in Davenport Iowa, recently named “America’s Worst Place to Live.” He started working at his father’s construction company when still a child. Shortly after being given a chemistry set at the age of nine, he started blowing up stuff, experimenting with electricity, fire, alchemy and constructing tree houses and boats to launch on the Mississippi river. Kal ran away from home at the age of 15 and started squatting abandoned buildings and living on the streets. He worked as a dishwasher, cook, carpenter, auto mechanic, day laborer, plumber, salesman, teacher, union factory worker, stagehand, fix it guy. Discovered art through a camera. He somehow put himself through college and graduate school.
Kal founded Seemen, an interactive machine art performance collective, in 1988. Kal has collaborated with Survival Research Labs and countless others from rock bands to scientists, politicians, NASA, Hollywood television and filmmakers. He curates art exhibits and is involved in political activism. He works on the waterfront of San Francisco scouring junkyards and dumpsters for industrial items whose technology can be reapplied. Exploring the boundaries between fear, control and exhilaration by giving audience members the opportunity to operate and control some downright dangerous machinery. His work has terrified and thrilled tens of thousands of people all over the planet, gotten him in trouble with the law and thrown out of galleries. People have cried, he has been threatened with violence and lawsuits and his work has been banned. For 28 years he has been experimenting with interfacing humans and technology to put people in touch with intense real life experiences and to empower them. Kal’s work is always interactive, requiring a participant to enter or operate the piece, often against their instincts of self-preservation.
He sometimes teaches at Universities, lectures, presents workshops and exhibits around the world. And Kaltek University.
About Eddie Yuen
Eddie Yuen teaches liberal Arts at the San Francisco Art Institute and Critical studies at CCA. His most recent work is on the discourse of climate change in the book “Catastrophism: The Apocalyptic Politics of Collapse and Rebirth”, (2012). He is the chief editor of two books on social movements and globalization and is a contributing producer for “Against the Grain”, a syndicated radio program featuring in-depth interviews with prominent critical thinkers.
“Do Androids dream of surplus value?” “Robotic Labor Exploitation and the falling rate of profit” is made possible by the Zellerbach Family Foundation.
Part of the Imagining Post-Capitalism Festival
About the Festival Organizers:
Pro Arts is a non-profit art institution working in the visual arts, performance, music, social practice, public art, and education. Founded in 1973, Pro Arts is one of the few remaining institutions in Oakland that is artist-centered and that continues to function as a platform for experimentation, supporting the freedom to create challenging, non-commercial work in critical art context.
Shaping San Francisco is a participatory community history project documenting and archiving overlooked stories and memories of San Francisco. We are committed to defining a new kind of public space, specifically around a shared interest in our interrelated social histories.
OUR MEDIA PARTNER:
Shareable.net (A fiscally sponsored project of Tides Center)
Shareable.net is a nonprofit media outlet and action network that empowers people to share for a more resilient, equitable, and joyful world. We inspire social change by publishing stories, analysis, and tools in collaboration with our global partners.
Upstream is a radio documentary and interview series that invites you to unlearn everything you thought you knew about economics. Blurring the line between economics and storytelling, Upstream inspires listeners to imagine what a more just, sustainable, and beautiful economy might look like.