‘More Lockouts as Companies Battle Unions’

January 31, 2012 § 1 Comment

Image

(photograph by Dan Koeck, New York Times)

Framed by the continuing global economic collapse, a recent edition of the New York Times reported how the Lockout, ‘once rare’, has become increasingly the means of redress in the United States, evidencing ‘increased employer militancy’.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/23/business/lockouts-once-rare-put-workers-on-the-defensive.html?_r=2&nl=todaysheadlines&emc=tha3

Government Inquiry: Derelict Dublin, Images of the City from 1913

January 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

‘I condemn the whole of the tenement system now existing. It breeds misery; and worse. It causes a great waste of human life and human force; men, women and children can never rise to the best that is in them under such conditions.’ (John Cooke, Report into Housing Conditions (1914))

As part of the backdrop to the pivotal events of the 1913 Lockout. Linked is an essay and image gallery from Dublin City Public Libraries, taken from the inquiry and report of the Departmental Committee appointed to inquire into the housing conditions of the working class of Dublin which ‘ followed the collapse of tenement buildings in the city in the same year resulting in the deaths of seven people, including three children’ and many more badly injured. The dreadful living conditions of the working poor were to be addressed in this inquiry published by the Local Government Board For Ireland.

http://dublincitypubliclibraries.com/derelict-dublin-1913

Dublin, 1913—Strike and Lockout

January 9, 2012 § Leave a comment

The 1913 Dublin Lockout was a defining and pivotal industrial dispute between workers and employers in the Irish capital, which began on the 26th of August, 1913 and lasted until January 18th, 1914. Central events took place in Dublin, the Irish capital, and is viewed now as one of the most significant moments in Irish labour history as workers fought for their right to organise and unionise.

(image source: MultiText Project, UCC)

A series of images regarding the visual representation of these pivotal events can be viewed here. This series is part of a wider research project undertaken by the University College Cork titled the MultiText Project:

It is the largest and most ambitious project undertaken by any university to provide resources for students of Modern Irish History at all levels: University students, the general reader, and second-level students. The project aims to publish a minimum of 12 books, each dealing with a separate period of Irish history. Each book contains accounts of key personalities, concepts, and detailed elucidations of some case studies in the period. (source: University College Cork)

Publicart.ie Interview with project curator, Helen Carey

January 9, 2012 § Leave a comment

Publicart.ie interviewed Helen Carey, curator and Director of the Limerick City Gallery of Art, about her project developing the centenary exhibition to commemorate the 1913/ 2013 Lockout.

THE MARKET a project by Mark Curran

January 9, 2012 § 7 Comments

In the continuing evolutionary aftermath of the global economic collapse and absence of sustained practice-led research engagement with the central locus of this event, the ethnographically informed, multi-sited, transnational project, THE MARKET (2010-), builds upon the cycle of long-term research projects, beginning in 1998, by practice-led researcher and educator, Mark Curran.

THE MARKET (installation image) Belfast Exposed 2013

THE MARKET (installation image) Belfast Exposed 2013

Beginning with SOUTHERN CROSS (Gallery of Photography/Cornerhouse 2002) which surveyed the spaces of development and finance of the so-called ‘Celtic Tiger’ Irish Republic between 1999 and 2001, followed by  The Breathing Factory (Edition Braus/Belfast Exposed/Gallery of Photography 2006) and subject of his practice-led PhD, sited in a multinational complex in Leixlip in the East of Ireland, the project addressed the role and representation of labour, global labour practices and fragile nature of globalised industrial space. Ausschnitte aus EDEN/Extracts from EDEN (Arts Council of Ireland, 2011) focused upon a declining industrial and coalmining region in the former East Germany, an area which prophetically evidenced the massive impact regarding the unevenness of development inherent through the functioning of neoliberal globalisation. All projects are intended to demonstrate a continuing and sustained engagement addressing the predatory impact of global capital.

Critically, the ongoing project, THE MARKET, which began in 2010, seeks to access those sites, which all of the other project work to date has also been decisively defined, spaces where literally and metaphorically, futures are speculated upon – the global markets – and to explore, survey and excavate focusing upon their operating functioning and how this is reflected in for example, language, architectural understandings and centrally, the individuals who inhabit, dwell and labour within these global financial spheres. Conceptually pivotal and mindful of technological evolution with specific reference to the role and functioning of algorithms, has been a desire to both make visible an understanding of such sites and to explore the interconnectedness of such markets. Therefore, multi-sited access has been sought to survey various global locations, including sites in Dublin, London, Frankfurt, Addis Ababa and Mumbai. Extended stays and re-visits have been undertaken in each location to facilitate further research regarding the site, address access, establish contacts and develop relationships with individuals as key collaborators and informants of the project.

As demonstrated in Curran’s previous projects, the cross-disciplinary interventions have included an ethnographic understanding in the collaborative and multi-vocal application of media in the form of photography, audio-digital video, soundscape and the collation of verbal testimony. The intention for THE MARKET has been to afford process-led undertakings over the course of its construction, extending to site-specific interventions, web presence and forums around the project installations incorporating interested parties thereby facilitating the opening up of discursive spaces around the central thematic.

The anthropologist, Karen Ho’s central argument is that Wall Street investment bankers reshape corporate America in their own image, and through the construction of the market, result in the manufacture of crises while simultaneously, ‘assuring its rescue’ (2009: 323). In this, as she defines, ‘economy of appearances’, Ho outlines operating structures, the significance regarding ‘pedigree’, citizen complicity and the critical role of fear in this ‘culture of liquidity’ (ibid.)’ Ho, K. (2009) Liquidated: An Ethnography of Wall Street New York: New York University.

In the financial markets, there is a natural predatory instinct that is hard to control (former trader and author, Micheal Lewis, BBC World Service, 9 May 2010)

The video shows a taped up plastic curtain inside the factory, one that seems to be installed for blocking the artist from viewing production equipment and process. Although we cannot see, there seems to be a working (breathing) machine inside the curtain as it, almost unnoticeably, inflates and deflates repetitiously. In fact, the video seems to summate what the audience experiences in the exhibition. The camera made its way inside the factory, but it cannot tell us what the employees actually do or what they produce. We are only allowed to hear the breathe of the factory. This is analogous to today’s globalised economy and financial markets. For many of us, it is almost unfathomable to understand how they operate. We are left outside of a curtain, inside of which a giant machine breathes intermittently. (from Spectators of the Same Story: Economy, Technology, Photography, Jung Joon Lee, Review of The Breathing Factory: A Project by Mark Curran, DePaul Art Museum (DPAM), Chicago January-March 2010, CAMERAta, Seoul, Korea, May 2010)

Keywords Global Capital, Ethnography, Photography, Speculation, Transnational, Vulnerable, Fieldwork, Precarity, Testimony, Cross-disciplinary, Labour, Witness, Reflexive, Installation, Montage, Multivocality, Access, Technology, Algorithms, Visual Art, Futures

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