November 7, 2015 - Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) - Office Space / Work in Progress: Investigations South of Market
November 7, 2015

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA)

1) Bea Fremderman, Kafka Office (still), 2013. Courtesy the artist. 2) Weston Teruya, Concept Sketch, 2015. Courtesy the artist.

Office Space
Work in Progress: Investigations South of Market
November 7, 2015–February 14, 2016

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA)
701 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
United States
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11am–6pm,
Thursday 11am–8pm

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Office Space
Artists include: Cory Arcangel, Mark Benson, KP Brehmer, Joseph DeLappe, Alex Dordoy, Harun Farocki, Bea Fremderman, Idle Screenings (with works by Stephanie Davidson, Jacob Broms Engblom, Manuel Fernandez, Paul Flannery, Kim Laughton, and Jasper Spicero), Joel Holmberg, Josh Kline, Pil and Galia Kollectiv, Julien Prévieux, Laurel Ptak, Sean Raspet, Mika Tajima, Pilvi Takala, Ignacio Uriarte, Andrew Norman Wilson, and Haegue Yang

Office Space cleverly subverts contemporary office culture as a means of exploring labor practices in the 21st century's post-industrial economy. As offices become mobile, and the nine-to-five becomes a nonstop 24-hour cycle, this exhibition reflects on what the Italian theorist Maurizio Lazzarato has identified as the rise of “immaterial labor” in developed, post-industrial countries. Citing the predominance of a service and information economy, as well as the rapidly dissolving line between pleasure and work among consumers and workers alike, Lazzarato describes “immaterial labor” as all the ways and means by which goods and services acquire their “informational and cultural content.” He argues that this move has radically modified the management and regulation of the workforce.

Through video, sculpture, painting, and installation, the artists in Office Space interrogate universally recognized aspects of office architecture, design, aesthetics, and protocols as a means of understanding the shift toward immaterial labor practices. Numerous approaches toward the re-engineering of work and life are on display, from outright dissent to the status quo, such as the portrayal of a Deloitte intern’s refusal to work in Pilvi Takala’s The Trainee (2008), to humorous hacks, like the continual out-of-office loop in Cory Arcangel’s Permanent Vacation (2008). Across all these works, the office becomes emblematic of the changing terrain for labor and productivity in the 21st century.

Limited edition catalog
The Office Space exhibition catalog is a USB drive that doubles as an executive writing pen. The catalog features: screen savers by Idle Screenings artists Stephanie Davidson, Manuel Fernandez, Paul Flannery, Kim Laughton, Jacob Broms Engblom, and Jasper Spicero; Idle Screenings software; artist texts by Laurel Ptak, Sean Raspet, and Andrew Norman Wilson; a newly commissioned essay by critic Mike Pepi; an essay by Office Space curator Ceci Moss; as well as images of works, extended wall labels, exhibition floor plan, checklist, and artist bios.

Catalog available at YBCA’s front desk. For mail order inquiries, please contact catalogs [​at​] ybca.org.

Office Space is curated by Ceci Moss, Assistant Curator of Visual Arts, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. 

For more information regarding the exhibition, as well as full list of public programs, visit our website.

Work in Progress: Investigations South of Market
Emerging from a desire to create a dynamic, non-traditional experiment in YBCA’s galleries, Work in Progress: Investigations South of Market is a series of new commissions by Bay Area artists Terry Berlier, Val Britton, Tom Loughlin, Jenny Odell, Weston Teruya, and Stadium Projects (Joshua Peder Stulen, Monte Masi, and Lex Kosieradzki) that delve into the layered history of San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood. The artists have been grouped into three sequential month-long residencies, with the galleries functioning as a working studio during open hours. As each residency rotates out, the works produced will remain on site, creating a palimpsest of artistic practices and output. As the title suggests, this exhibition is a work-in-progress until its end.

From the mid-19th century through today, from boom to bust to boom again, the historically industrial South of Market area has witnessed a multitude of reinventions, and each artist takes a unique point of departure from which to explore the neighborhood. Inspirations include the 1906 earthquake and fire, which physically and psychologically transformed the landscape of San Francisco; the more recent changes that have come about since the opening of AT&T Park in 2000; and the environmental impacts of the building boom. Other projects look at the people who have inhabited the neighborhood over the years, from the Ohlone to the wealthy landowners of the 19th century to those who work and live here today.

October 26–November 29, 2015
Terry Berlier + Weston Teruya

November 30, 2015–January 17, 2016
Val Britton + Jenny Odell

January 18–February 14, 2016
Tom Loughlin + Stadium Projects

Work in Progress: Investigations South of Market is curated by Susie Kantor, Curatorial Assistant, Visual Arts, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

For more information regarding the exhibition, visit our website

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