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Must wash hands before returning to work

Isabelle Kuzio
Jan 24 – Feb 19, 2020

I am always working but constantly distracted. Some animals, like alligators, sleep with one eye open. I have been adapting this skill into my life. Half of my brain remains wide awake while the other side is dreaming. Hemispheric sleep is efficient and managerial, where tasks can be delegated to one side while the other rests. Imagine if humans evolved this way, think of how much more we could do in one day.

Must wash hands before returning to work unfolds in a setting comparable to a public bathroom. The toilet cubicle is one of the most private of public spaces. Hidden underneath there is a vast sewer structure we do not see nor wish to smell. Underneath most things there is a structure of organization, a plan for how it functions. But it’s form, once built by humans, continues to change. Although we can study it, we will never fully understand it. Still, we will clean up the gunk to keep everything running smoothly. Everything productive makes waste. After all, no system can be 100% efficient. 

There once was something called an eight hour work day, accompanied by the separation between rest and labour. Post-industrialization has merged work back into places that were once reserved for play, leisure, and personal hygiene. Work is no longer restricted to the bounds of factory or office walls, but extends through our electronic devices and personal relationships. Distinctions are blurred between private and public, work and play, rest and action, sleep and labour, social and professional, production and maintenance. There is an evolving and collective learning process at the heart of all this productivity, consisting of networks and flows. But somehow it makes me feel as alienated as ever.