auto – self – domestication, self-referenciality, auto-reference-reality, automatic (unaware?) domestication becoming of pet, learning unaware self– and other, becoming domesticated, pet, domestic work, auto-reference-reality autodomestication…

Immaterial workers satisfy a demand by the consumer and at the same time establish that demand.’ (M. Lazzarato)

What is the role the pet performs- the job description- and what is the field they are working in from the point of view of affective labour. Comparing the pets to the cultural industries might seem like a foolish idea but as the research finding show “we” have a deal to learn from these domesticated non-human animals. .

As the saying goes: „fish can’t see the water they’re in“.

Survival in the post-fordist society requires increasingly more creativity. Inventing and re-inventing is the spirit of life long learning. Workers in the creative industries that perform immaterial labour are exemplary here, moving from project to project animated by creative energy, training and re-training themselves as they go. Pets do share the more than what we might imagine at first thought with other new types of the so called affective labour. They, too have to perform, control their instincts and at the same time provide their audience with something that can not exactly be measured. As regards the activity that produces the ‘cultural content’ of the commodity, immaterial labour involves a series of activities that are not normally recognised as ‘work’-–in other words, the kinds of activities involved in defining and fixing cultural and artistic standards, fashions, tastes, consumer norms, and more strategically, public opinion. Immaterial workers are primarily producers of subjectivity.

Autodomestication is based on “Artists’ Responsibility” and the performative skecth “Autodomestication” performed on June 2, 2009 in Tanzquartier Vienna, which researches the functioning and so called affective labour done by artists and pets with a special focus on (self)education and pet training:

A new kind of training has become increasingly popular among many pet owners – clicker training. This method differs from traditional methods in the most fundamental way, namely instead of getting the pet obey certain rules, the owner makes their pet believe they are in fact training their owner, to click.This new method forsters amazing creativity among pets. Now they are the ones with power. Punishmnet and fear has been replaced by creativity, proactivenss and freedom…

Extracts from the lecture:

A pet is an animal kept for companionship and enjoyment, as opposed to livestock, laboratory animals, working animals or sport animals, which are kept for economic reasons. (Wikipedia)

One can never know exactly what the pet thinks. How can you be sure what is in your cat’s eyes: is it happy? does it care about you? Is it a love for you or for your refrigerator. Or is there perhaps no difference? This mystery may indeed be one of the keys to the artists’ existence.

The performance will be based on both practical and theoretical research. Theoreticians and  cultural philosophers will collaborate on the theoretical aspects on the work and a real pet (probably a dog) will be invited to join the practical research. There are also planned articles and exhibition projects about “cuteness and subversion” in art. The piece itself will be a collection of notes and observations from the working process.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s