IMAG-E-NATION the political & philosophical arts initiative blog

(re)imagining the political and philosophical in the 21st century

The Political & Philosophical Arts Initiative is interested in the ways in which people interact with and compose political and philosophical ideas and actions through the various, diverse media of technology and the arts. Participants in PAI seek to explore the ways in which poetry, literature, music, photography, performance and other creative arts interleave with the political and philosophical life, either as vehicles for criticism, elaboration, theorization, intervention or activism.
The Imag-e-nation blog is a forum for interested parties to share stories, images or other contributions. Contributors range from students and faculty to artists and musicians to professional and casual commentators. Pieces can be short opinions, re-postings of appropriate materials, or original compositions. In addition, the PAI at LUC will make a selection of relevant or provocative news items each week for (re)publication here.


Weighing Work: Reframing Ambition @ Droog

With Labour Day around the corner, 'tis high time to inspect the meaning, value, and performance of work in a 21st-century environment of rapid urbanisation, hyper-information accessibility, ubiquitous social media and digital technologies.  Droog and De Brakke Grond's #Arbeid van de dag exhibition in Amsterdam from now to 1 May invites us to think through and tinker with these choices, challenges, and opportunities in the context of work, work conditions, and work-life balance.

Brussels-based design dream team Thomas Lommée and Christiane Hoegner offers an especially compelling installation, entitled "Reframing Ambition":

where visitors amass those elements which comprise their current ambitions, physically symbolised by generic cans of single activities, and weigh these components against time and money on a sliding age scale to achieve optimal balance.  That we might need to discard some of our current aspirations into the basket marked "outsource" and decide to reserve some cans of desire for the "DIY" container propel us to explore and reconfigure our relationship to work, conceptually and affectively.

Faced with the convenience and creativity of self-branding on the one hand and the distractions and pressures of self-performance on the other, how do we focus and (re)discover what we can do, in addition to what we need to do or want to do?

From the manifesto above (in the spirit of sharper, selective focus):

Today the problem is no longer routine, but multitasking.
The problem is no longer boredom, but constant hype.
The problem is no longer choice, but choosing.
Therefore these times need new aspirations.
[I]f we manage to do so
our imperfections will become features, failure part of the experience.
Work will become a journey, money a medium, satisfaction the reward
and ultimately success will become the ability to do what you want to do.
Reframing our ambitions will allow us to navigate more easily
through the abundance of new options in order to fully enjoy them.



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