Photo by Agniezka Chabros
WORKPLACE framed the ‘job interview’ as ritual, melding the visual language and performative aspects of an office interview with that of a tarot reading. Channelling both an employer and fortune teller, we created interactions with audiences that challenged the power dynamics between employer and potential employee; fortune teller and fortune seeker. Instead of receiving a forecast of work futures, audiences were invited to share their future hopes and anxieties and explore their desired futures of work. Each participant walked away with a Future Work Contract – an automatically generated document based on the participant’s desired future of work. Each personalised contract formed a personal ‘demand on the future’ and an illustration of the future work arrangements imagined by each participant.
Members of the public were invited to take part in a 20-30 minute interview, purportedly to determine their ‘future work readiness’. These semi-structured interviews were based around seven work tarot cards: The Hourglass explored hours of work and length of work week; The Eye addressed surveillance in the workplace; The Circle explored workplace inclusion and exclusion; The Cog asked questions about the future of automation; The Scales discussed how labour is valued and remunerated; The Precariat explored precarity in the workforce. The Heart card explored futures of care – visitors are asked who or what they think should care for the young or elderly in the future.
Each interview was closed with the ritual of signing the contract, stamping it as ‘FUTURE READY’ and shaking each participant’s hand to seal the deal.
perspective.” – participant, WORKPLACE
Graphic Design: Corey James
Interior architecture and design: Colby Vexler & James Taylor
Costume design: Annie Wu / Articles of Clothing
Commissioned by City of Melbourne