April 29, 2021
An exercise and discussion on timekeeping, Glasgow, August 2019
Using the notion of Eight hours labour, "eight hours recreation, eight hours labour, eight hours rest" coined by Robert Owen, this workshop exercise asked participants to consider how they divide up their days using a pie chart. How do the lines blur as we multitask, mix business with pleasure and thrive on variety? Information gathered during the workshop was used as further discursive proposition during the day.
What kind of work are we doing, how long for and for who?
Optimum-o pie adopts the tone of a corporate time management tool and contemplates where we draw our lines. If the myth of productivity is dispelled how can a balance be struck not only for the individual, but between many people’s responsibilities?
We come to recognise the pie as a dissident game for contemplating the ways we spend our energy; how we should have the right to choose dependent on what our needs and desires look like; how variety and freedom is integral for our humanity and our mutual
cooperation. It makes visible a conversation of how we may ultimately expand the conditions that make art possible, fostering an environment for practicing artistry of some kind, for all.
This workshop was devised and delivered by P.O.O.L (Peer Organisation for Open Learning) for the Scottish Artists' Union.
P.O.O.L is a pilot alternative creative education programme, initiated in response to the limitations encountered in institutional further education and life 'post education'. It is currently in its developmental stages - and will be structured as a peer-led, studio based course, run part-time over the duration of six months to a year. The project takes inspiration from models of contemporary and historic anti-capitalist self education programmes and considers how these could work in the context of Glasgow. Fundamentally, we will be looking to collectively generate the conditions for self-cultivation and critical thinking in the age of the neoliberal educational institution.