Andrew Ross : The Exorcist and the Machines: 100 Notes, 100 Thoughts : Documenta
Hatje Cantz Verlag
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Cultural critic Andrew Ross, who is a supporter of an alternative globalization approach, focuses in his texts on topics such as precarious cognitive labor, the organization of work, and urban society. In this notebook he questions the price we have to pay for the never-ending increase in efficiency and productivity and analyzes the correlation between self-exploitation in the Western economic system and the exploitation of the human workforce in Asia. Many freelance and creative producers spend all their waking hours on their laptops-their electronic notebooks-which allow them to work anytime and anywhere, leading to mistaken ideas about flexibility and independent work hours. Ross provides an example of the harsh labor conditions of the manufacturers of these machines in an investigation into the largest private employer in China, the Taiwanese company Foxconn, where a series of suicides occurred among the mostly adolescent workers. The most important medium of the only supposedly free, individually defined labor in Western neoliberalism owes its existence to degrading work conditions in other parts of the world. Andrew Ross (*1956) is Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University.