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Do Androids dream of surplus value : “Robotic Labor Exploitation

Pro Arts
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“Do Androids dream of surplus value?”
May 02 2018
7:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Shaping San Francisco at Eric Quezada Center for Culture and Politics (518 Valencia St, SF).
“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?”

This event is part of the Imagining Post-Capitalism Festival (May 1-6, 2018) produced by Pro Arts in collaboration with Shaping San Francisco.

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 Critical Studies at California College of Arts. 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.

About the Imagining Post-Capitalism festival

Confronting the oft-quoted cliché that we can imagine the end of the world more easily than we can imagine the end of capitalism, this festival invites us all to get out of our dead-end thinking and imagine how much better life can be. Produced by Pro Arts in collaboration with Shaping San Francisco, the Imagining Post-Capitalism hybrid festival/summit will take place from May 1 – 6, 2018 and will bring together activists, artists, and the general public to explore a future without capitalism. The festival/summit will take place in Oakland and San Francisco, CA. Scheduled activities include: lectures, community gatherings and salons, discussions, presentations, performances, workshops, screenings, art actions and interventions, podcasts and publications. Presentation topics include: social history of labor and labor organizing, universal basic income and alternative economies, debt abolition and jubilee, the end of work, what sustains racism and sexism beyond capitalism, revolutionary movements of the past, new social movements, ecological and social justice, urbanism and gentrification, technological innovations and techno-fetishism… and much more! What do you want to put on the table when it comes to imagining a post-capitalist life?

“Do Androids dream of surplus value?” “Robotic Labor Exploitation and the falling rate of profit” is made possible by the Zellerbach Family Foundation.