The question of work has also become a very polemical issue these days, and particularly so in the field of art and culture. What is work for an artist within our post-Fordist blur between life and work, freedom and alienation? It’s useful to refer to distinctions that Hannah Arendt draws between labor, work, and action. For Arendt, labor corresponds to a basic need for human life to sustain itself, such as farming, preparation of food, etc. Work goes beyond the satisfaction of immediate needs and corresponds to the human ability to build and maintain a world fit for human use, while action is “the only activity that goes on directly between men without the intermediary of things or matter, [and] corresponds to the human condition of plurality.”

Anton Vidokle
"Art without work?"

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