When we talk about how the digital revolution has increasingly turned our lives around in the last three decades, we fix our gaze on the center stage and focus on the results. Our ways of doing things, from health to security, from education to entertainment have changed. This has made our life easier as much as it has caused complications. Nevertheless, a world where everyone is reachable anytime is a world much different from before. Mostly we admired it, got mad at it, or feared it. We have ignored the labor behind all this change and how the labor that creates the digital revolution is organized. We have disregarded the ways in which the digital revolution has transformed labor from mines to assembly lines, from homes to offices. Now that our initial fascination has ceded, the digital and the digitally transformed have made it to our daily routines. To better understand this revolution we’d like to look into its relationship with labor and contextualize it beyond what is immediately visible in terms of change.
The theme of amber’15 is work and labor. Has digitalization devalued or cheapened labor? How has the relation between labor and capital changed? How widespread is an insecurity with regards to work, how has unpaid labor increased? In what way has the relation between work and labor evolved? From white-collar to youth who use digital tools, how has people’s attitudes toward their own labor changed? Can we talk about robotic or cyborg labor? What’s the role of digital technologies in the growing unemployment, poverty and deepening class-wage gap? Have digital technologies honed the existing antagonisms? Is the reappearance of Marx’s theory of value in contemporary thought-scape an indication of a lack of change in terms of labor and exploitation?
amber’15, in its collective restructuring, invites you all to a discussion around the theme “Laboro Ergo Sum”.