Artistic (Non)Labour and its Discontents

Master OF FINE ART presents:
Moving Images of Speculation #5: Artistic (Non)Labour and its Discontents


Curated by: Jelena Vesić Curatorial and organization collaborators: Rachel O’Reilly and Bik Van der Pol

Supported by:  Jan Van Eyck Academie – Maastricht, Piet Zwart Institute, Master of Fine Art – Rotterdam, and School of Missing Studies – Amsterdam

Time: Monday April 14, 11:00 to 17:00

Location: Piet Zwart Institute, Karel Doormanhof 45

Admission: Free, please send an email to to reserve a place 

‘Speculation’ comes from a series of Latin verbs, which all stem from a Greek root, deriving from Sanskrit ‘spàs’: to spy, see, or observe – to perform an act of mastery over an object observed. Since financial speculation became fully global in the XVII century, the Latin speciẽs (linking to specêre, outward appearance and form) has come to signify coins, money, or bullion. The etymological linking of speculation, spectacle and species encapsulates the formal imbrication of thought and money, cognition and economics – especially in their way of putting claims on time and the future. To speculate at the level of thought and production is also to be open to loss – of value and of identity; it is to risk the transfer of finitude to infinity, and matter both to immateriality and nothingness. Amidst the present day operations of speculative finance, the economy culturalizes, while culture is increasingly tied to economic logics and analytics. In this double bind, artistic (allegedly non-alienated and autonomous) activity is transformed into ‘exhausting immaterial labour’, while conditions for ‘regular workers’ become increasingly pervaded by ideologies of creativity, free labour and self-management.

The following lecture series will speculate on these processes in various, less expected ways … —————————

Moving Images of Speculation is an artistic-theoretical research InLab of the Jan Van Eyck Academie exploring contemporary links between post-cinematic form and finance. It is especially attentive to different artistic approaches to forms and technics of speculative and essayistic practice, in the context of fictional economy. The InLab incorporates readings, screenings, talks, research tours, exhibitions, lectures and roundtables.

Schedule: 11:00 – 11:30 Gathering and Introduction 11:30 – 12:30 Jelena Vesić: Administration of Aesthetics or On Undercurrents of Negotiating Artistic Jobs – Between Love and Money, Between Money and Love …  12:30 – 12:45 immediate Q&A 12:45 – 14:15 Marina Vishmidt and Anthony Iles: It’s Not Her Factory: Art, Abolition and the Labour of the Negative 14:15 – 14:30 Immediate Q&A 14:30 – 15:00 Break (SOFT DRINKS PROVIDED/PLEASE BRING YOUR OWN LUNCH) 15:00 – 16:00 Rachel O’Reilly: Poetical Unworkings of Cultural Economy Romantix 16:00 – 17:00 Discussion


Jelena Vesić is curator, writer, researcher and lecturer. Marina Vishmidt is a writer, researcher and editor who lives in London. She recently obtained her PhD on Speculation as a Mode of Production in Art and Capital. Anthony Iles is a writer of fiction, criticism and theory, and a contributing editor with Mute. Rachel O’Reilly is writer, poet, editor, researcher and curator based in the Netherlands.

Piet Zwart Institute Postgraduate Studies and Research P.O.Box 1272 3000 BG Rotterdam, The Netherlands for more information:

About anti

Anthony Iles is currently a doctoral candidate at the School of Art & Design, Middlesex University. A founder member of the Full Unemployment Cinema. A contributing editor with Mute / Metamute since 2005. He is the author, with Josephine Berry-Slater, of the book, No Room to Move: Art and the Regenerate City (Mute Books, London 2011), contributing editor to the recent publications, Anguish Language: writing and crisis (Archive Books, Berlin, 2015), and Look at Hazards, Look at Losses (Mute/Kuda, 2017) and a contributor to Brave New Work: A Reader on Harun Farocki’s Film A New Product. Recent essays have been published in Mute, Radical Philosophy, Rab-Rab: Journal for Political and Formal Inquiries in Art and Logos.
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