Digital Worker: Witnesses of a transformation

Winter Semester 2018/19

MA Course: Knowledge Forms
Number: 155.806

Institute for Contemporary Art
Faculty of Architecture
Graz University of Technology

In the last couple of years developments in field of robotics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning are rapidly increasing. “Smartness” and “intelligence” manifested through machinic judgments, driving and sensing emotion will strongly impact not just the field of architecture but also everyday life. The promise published through scores, various predictions, and lists of dying professions and jobs is that the new automation aims to impact the work activities for a large amount of people, in a very short time.

The course ‘Digital Worker: Witnesses of a transformation’ investigates this labor reconfiguration: material and immaterial, low paid and high paid, low skilled and high skilled, long in tradition and new, all that aim to be, or are currently in the process of being, replaced by the ‘intelligent’ machines. The new revolution follows the old question: if robots are taking over jobs, what and how are humans to do? Which kind of social relations are a futuristic imagination of the contemporary technological tendencies? Is the fear of precarization and growing inequality as a consequence of the contemporary transformation just irrational? How will architecture emerge through this transformation?

Understanding that technology is at its base a human and social process, the anticipated artistic intervention and a sound installation as a result of observation, interviews, readings and audio recordings aims to be both, evidence of this transformation as well as a contribution to the understanding of how “the digital turn” has been shaping local labor relations involving the main protagonists in the city.


Konrad Diwold
Head of Smart Factory department
Pro2Future, TU Graz

Peter Fasching
Arbeitsmarktservice Graz-Ost

Mario Matzer
Economic policy department
Arbeiterkammer Steiermark

Christina Simmerer
Curatorial Assistant
Grazer Kunstverein


Artistic Intervention & Discussion
Waschsalon Graz
Griesplatz 2,
8020 Graz, Austria

January 18, 2019
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