Marta Minujin Paris 8 June 1963 photo Giovanni Coruzzi  BridgemanImages
Marta Minujin, Paris, 8 June 1963, photo: Giovanni Coruzzi / BridgemanImages

November 30 - December 1, 2023 – Symposium

Artistic Labour Now

On the equally specific and general, productive and reproductive, material and immaterial nature of this labour type

The symposium will approach modern and contemporary artistic labour from numerous angles, involving Marxist value theories, feminist theories of reproductive labour and contemporary theories of affective and immaterial labour. The relationship between the value-form of the unique art work and the gendered position of its maker will be discussed in relationship to key artists and theorists. The symposium aspires to shed light on the specificity of artistic labour in view of an increasingly globalized and digitized art economy.

Today’s immersive media also create new possibilities for the production and distribution of art and the arrival of virtual reality can even be said to give rise to an immaterial art form of a new kind. Blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies have recently emerged as an expansive sphere in which notions of value, labour and economy in the broadest sense need to be renegotiated.


Thursday, November 30, 2023, 6:00pm–8:00pm
Aula, Städelschule, Dürerstraße 10, 60596 Frankfurt am Main

  • Isabelle Graw & Daniel Birnbaum
    Welcome and Introduction
  • Silvia Federici
    Rethinking Immaterial Labor and Affective Labor, a Feminist Critique
    Keynote Lecture
  • Friederike Sigler
    Art and Reproductive Labor. After Silvia Federici

Friday, December 1, 2023, 2:00pm–8:30pm
Aula, Städelschule, Dürerstraße 10, 60596 Frankfurt am Main

The Materiality and Immateriality of Artistic Labour
2:00–3:15 pm        

  • Larisa Dryansky
    Portrait of the Conceptual Artist as a Luddite: Ian Burn and Manual Work
  • Christian Berger
    Conceptual Art and/as Immaterial Labor

Artistic Labour versus General Labour
3:30–4:45 pm    

  • Jaleh Mansoor
    Art, Index, Labor, Value
  • Sabeth Buchmann
    Rehearsing the Value of Performance Labor
  • Josh Kline
    Contemporary Labor in Contemporary Art

Slave Labour as Living Labour
5:00–6:15 pm

  • Aria Dean
    Money Talk
  • Huey Copeland
    All the Things Art History Could Be by Now If Blackness Were its Mother: Notes on Discipline and Value.

Digital Labour
6:30–7:45 pm     

  • Michelle Kuo
    Creative Suite
  • Simon Denny
    NPC compensation: financial frontiers beyond WoW Gold, Ultima GPs and L$

Closing Remarks
8:00 pm

  • Isabelle Graw & Daniel Birnbaum

Concept by Isabelle Graw and Daniel Birnbaum

Artistic Labour Now is made possible by the generous support from Hessisches Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kunst. Additional support is provided by Förderprogramm QuiS21 and Digitale Perspektiven in der Kunst.


Andrés Gorzycki
Project Coordinator