Rehearsing Moves on Hazy Paths #3

(c) Fertig Design, 2023

25 August // 18:30 - 22:00


Helen Hester & Nick Srnicek: After Work - A History of the Home and the Fight for Free Time - Book Launch & Conversation

Teresa Dillon: Bread and Butter - Hospitality & Conversational Offerings

How to organize to make time for even engaging in emancipatory practices or political struggle, and for “rehearsing moves”? In gathering #3 of REHEARSING MOVES ON HAZY PATHS, we meet Helen Hester and Nick Srnicek to present and discuss their new book, which looks into ways of organizing unpaid, maintenance, care and reproductive work. From a background of the history of the home over the past century in Europe and North America, they outline how despite technical developments, the time spent on house work has remained the same or even increased. They discuss, how familiar ways of organizing care and maintenance work are just one possible way, and how they could be organized otherwise. After the book presentation, we engage in a joint conversation on care and maintenance, time and organizing moderated by Teresa Dillon, who combines hospitality and conversational offerings at the event. 

Helen Hester & Nick Srnicek: After Work - A History of the Home and the Fight for Free Time 

Book Launch & Conversation

A History of the Home and the Fight for Free Time - Does it ever feel like you have no free time? You come home after work and instead of finding a space of rest and relaxation, you're confronted by a pile of new tasks to complete – cooking, cleaning, looking after the kids, and so on.

In this ground-breaking book, Helen Hester and Nick Srnicek lay out how unpaid work in our homes has come to take up an ever-increasing portion of our lives – how the vacuum of free time has been taken up by vacuuming. Examining the history of the home over the past century – from running water to household technology to smart homes – they show how repeated efforts to reduce the burden of this work have faced a variety of barriers, challenges, and reversals.

Charting the trajectory of our domestic spaces over the past century, Hester and Srnicek consider new possibilities for the future, uncovering the abandoned ideas of anti-housework visionaries and sketching out a path towards real free time for all, where everyone is at liberty to pursue their passions, or do nothing at all. It will require rethinking our living arrangements, our expectations and our cities.

Helen Hester  is Professor of Gender, Technology and Work at the University of West London. Her research interests include technology, social reproduction, and the future of work, and she is a member of the international feminist working group Laboria Cuboniks. Her books include Beyond Explicit: Pornography and the Displacement of Sex and Xenofeminism.

Nick Srnicek is a Senior Lecturer in Digital Economy at King’s College London. He is the author of Platform Capitalism and Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work (with Alex Williams).


Teresa Dillon: Bread and Butter  

Bread and Butter - The phrase “bread and butter” is often used to connate the importance of a task, or what we depend on for our survival and livelihood. As a food, bread and butter can be the foundational base for the sandwich. The sandwiches’ domestic and commercial preparation is also inextricably linked to forms of work where the need for effective and inexpensive sources of nourishment emerged as a means to support daily labour. Setting the scene for this exchange, an expanded sandwich platter will be served as part of the evening’s hospitality and conversational offerings.

Teresa Dillon  is an artist and researcher. She holds the post of Professor of City Futures at the University of the West of England, Bristol, where her work explores techno-civic relationships and notions of survival, care, and maintenance. This currently manifests through multi-year programmes of work, such as Repair Acts, Urban Hosts and Resonate Ecologies.