Fotograf Magazine

Introduction

The Vicious Circle of Non-Work

Like photography, the distinction between leisure time and work is
a modern achievement. The need to categorize and hierarchize time
according to its content and productivity goes back to the times when
the need to take photos was born. Both come from one of the imaginary
thresholds of the modern age of Western civilization – the end of the 18th
century.1 While industrialization divided time into the periods of eight hours,
in post-industrialism, the boundaries set by factory walls crumble down
and blur into a hardly definable swamp of non-work. Leisure has gradually
become a product of massive commercialization where the autonomy of
idleness vanishes. It is often confused and merged with recreation – the
institutionally controlled time of rest that is necessary to keep individuals
capable of work. What we understand as leisure time today is increasingly
destroyed by working time, and the clear boundaries of work and non-work
are disappearing. The editorial of the Internet platform e-flux, introducing
a series of texts dealing with post-labour at the beginning of 2018, says
that at the beginning of the 2010s, eighty percent of young New Yorkers
regularly worked in bed. Thus, the computer as a device of the same binary
character as digital photography has become the gateway that enabled
work to break the intimacy of our bedrooms.

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#32 non-work

#32 non-work

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