Phase 1: Manual Labours (2013)

We first started working together in 2013, when for one week we transformed the Peltz Gallery at Birkbeck into our office, staffroom, canteen, library, film-screening space and meeting place for one week.

This 35 hour ‘working week’ investigation into the embodied, sensory, emotional effects of work included meetings with our co-workers (such as an ex-postal worker, engineer, administrators, cultural workers), a 9 mile walk to work, hosting a film screening and eating together during a Public Lunch Hour.

This initial phase of research stemmed from an investigation of our own bodily relationships to our cognitive, immaterial labour and tested out methods for discussing the effects of work with others, from one-to-one interviews to communal lunches and film screenings. Over this period we identified three areas of concern which each formed a chapter in our first Manual Labours Manual #1: Time and Temporality; The Body and the Work Environment and Bad Management. 

You can read more about what we did by clicking on the link below and by reading our Manual Labours Manual #1.

We deepened our exploration around these challenges through a series of reading sessions held in Autumn 2013 in different sites of work including an artist studio, a hospital and a bank led by a psychologist, artist, sociologist and historian.