Critical Writing Index

Capital Implications: the function of labor in the video art of Juan Devis: and Yoshua Okon

by Kenneth Rogers

Social Identities, May 2009, v. 15, no. 3, pp. 331-349

Kenneth Rogers examines the inflated global art markets,which are inextricably bound to and dependent upon more informal market systems that operate through the spontaneous organization of exploitable, precarious, marginalized, and ultimately undervalued forms of labour. This article contextualizes the function of labor within two contrasting historical traditions/tendencies of art and cultural production that explicitly reference labour as an essential structuring condition of the work. The debate is developed through a detailed case study of an exchange between two contemporary media/video artists, Juan Devis and Yoshua Okon, both based in Los Angeles. The case study demonstrates the complexities of how the market value of art is implicated within a precarious transnational wage labor system in the neoliberal global economy.

ITEM 2009.159 – available for viewing in the Research Centre

Videos, Artworks and Artists Cited

Inter-State: Video on the GoJuan Devis

The Petty Curse of Having this BodyJuan Devis

HieloJuan Devis

The Belmont TunnelJuan Devis

Face-InJuan Devis

The Digital MigrantJuan Devis

Washing, Tracks, MaintenanceMierle Laderman Ukeles

The Wall of a Gallery Pulled Out, Inclined 60 Degrees from theSantiago Sierra

Ground and Sustained by 5 People.Yoshua Okon

A PropositoYoshua Okon

Orillese a la OrillaYoshua Okon