Aptiv Syndrome

LiYCY, UTP patch, flat Ethernet, FFC cables, glass, stainless steel
2-channel video, colour (HD), sound, 4-track (stereo), 14 min

Aptiv Syndrome, Exhibition view, MSUV, 2024 © Dejan Marković

A comprehensive research project, “Aptiv Syndrome” investigates the production conditions of the infrastructure necessary for digital capitalism. The starting point is a recent Serbian state initiative that promotes cheap labor with the aim of attracting new tech industry production sites. Global corporations quickly moved in, with a large number of branches springing up in the southeastern part of the country – especially the automotive, and electrical engineering industries. It is mostly women who are employed here in the production of semiconductors and microchips, as well as electrification and data connectivity. The project’s title, Aptiv Syndrome, refers to observations made by a local orthopedic surgeon, who noted a range of symptoms that appeared in female workers at the US company with headquarter in Dublin, “Aptiv,” when their work shift was increased to 12 hours. These included thumb and wrist injuries, swelling, sciatic pain, and spondylosis. By shedding light on the structural and psychophysical exploitation of women at locations away from the centers of the global north, the project deals with the relentless production conditions found in the contemporary tech industry.

Markovic is currently planning a multi-part installation based on his collaboration with former workers from the companies Aptiv, Yura, and Leoni in Southeast Serbia and with weavers from the “Atelje 61” association in Novi Sad. Nine tapestries are hand-woven from electrical cables, and shown alongside the workers’ illegible diaries and an operation video. LIYCY, UTP patch, flat Ethernet and FFC cables form the essential infrastructure of the tech industry. The processing of these cables into carpets counters the tight timing of exploitative industrial labor – here the work is carried out using decelerated design processes and under fair conditions. At the same time, the conventionally female-coded weaving technique reveals the real gender relations that support the production processes of the male-dominated tech industry. The operational video and diaries refer directly to the physical and mental impact of repressive labor.

Seen from the perspective of, so called, a European periphery, the project examines two core issues: the psychophysical effects of the digital capitalist system, and the patriarchal structure of its production modes. The installation is intended to contribute to the urgent discourses surrounding the climate crisis, the Capitalocene, and neocolonialism. While the presentation offers insights into the artistic production process through preliminary recordings in the media of video, photography, and drawing, an artist talk explores the extensive research project “Aptiv Syndrome” and practical cooperation with female workers in Serbia.

Dejan Marković, Aptiv Syndrome. A Report, 2022 © Dejan Marković
Dejan Marković, Aptiv Syndrome. A Report, 2022 © Dejan Marković

Gastarbeiter 2.0: Arbeit means rad

@ nGbK Berlin
Karl-Liebknecht-Straße 13, 10178 Berlin, Germany

· Opening: 12 April 2024 · 7 p.m.
· 13 April – 16 June 2024




New Era: Artistic discourses on social and climate changes

@ MSUV Novi Sad
Karl-Liebknecht-Straße 13, 10178 Berlin, Germany

· Opening: 22 March 2024 · 7 p.m.
· 23 March – 12 Mai 2024


Aptiv Syndrome. A Report

RESEARCH INSIGHTS: 16.-18.12.2022

ARTIST TALK: 16.12.2022, 19h

@ GRAYCE space

Gärtnerstraße 10, 10245 Berlin
Go to top