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About the colloquium


Thursday, February 29, 4:15 PM followed by a reception until 8:00 PM

Friday, March 1, 1:00-3:00 PM and 3:30-5:30 PM with refreshments

Will there be enough work in the future? What happens to essential workers during the next pandemic? Will robots replace care workers? What's required for a healthy work life, environment, and planet? The transboundary Covid-19 crisis affected and reconfigured all elements of our social system, forcing far-reaching reevaluations in our relation to work. REWORKING COMMUNITIES OF PRACTICE at the CUNY Graduate Center focuses on models of creative change through structures of communal practice and expanded pedagogies that the curatorial research project REWORKING LABOR produced within a 5-year frame.

The curatorial research project REWORKING LABOR (2017-2023) comprised an international symposium, exhibition, and publication exploring the challenging new landscape of work and labor, issues of contemporary labor, and new forms of creative collaboration. The project presented contemporary representations of work and labor, highlighted maintenance and care work, social reproduction, and future forms of work. The final part of the project, the book Reworking Labor (SAIC Press, 2023), takes the pandemic as a starting point for speculative consideration of how our relations to work might change in the years ahead, and how we may leverage our current moment towards positive change.

REWORKING COMMUNITIES OF PRACTICE at the CUNY Graduate Center will address the non-hierarchical structures and creative problem-solving processes that enabled the creation of the book along with the exhibitions and symposia that preceded it. The sessions will explore how self-organization and relations of care as specific forms of work were critical to the formation of the book and discuss how creative forms of collaboration informed the publication process and the work of participants more generally.

Thursday, February 29, 4:15 – 6:15 PM

“More Better: Collaboration and Possibility”

This session will address the scale, process, and specific issues inherent to collaboration: ethics, forms, rulemaking, power, play, and risk.

Friday, March 1, 1:00 - 3:00 PM

“Reworking Labor”

Participants discuss collaboration in practice and their contributions to the book. We want to detail the more specific and practical forms of collaboration and process.

Friday, March 1, 3:30 -5:30 PM

“Mentorship, Apprenticeship, Pedagogy, and Expanded Forms of Teaching/Learning”

Re:Working Labor, sponsored by the International Research Center re:work - Work and Human Life Cycle in Global History at the Humboldt University, Berlin, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, The Galleries at SAIC, The Institute for Curatorial Research and Practice at SAIC, the Goethe-Institut Chicago, and the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

The colloquium is organized by the James Gallery Institute of Art & Inquiry, Ph.D. Program in Earth and Environmental Sciences, and the Ph.D. Program in English.