25th Drawing Show | The Gig Economy: Depictions of Life and Responses to Work in the Digital Bazaar PDF Print E-mail

25th Drawing Show

Sammy Chong, GREEN, 2015

25th Drawing Show
The Gig Economy: Depictions of Life and Responses to Work in the Digital Bazaar

Robert Moeller
Invited Curator and Juror

Mills Gallery at Boston Center for the Arts
551 Tremont Street, Boston
November 4, 2017–January 7, 2018

About the Drawing Show
Since 1979, the Drawing Show has been a widely anticipated hallmark of visual arts programming at Boston Center for the Arts (BCA). This juried exhibition has allowed BCA to work with more than 500 artists and invited curators. Proposals are welcome from all artists and designers who explore drawing as a medium in their work.

Artists: Rory Fitzgerald Bledsoe, Alex Callender, Sammy Chong, Furen Dai, Carol Greenwood, Yikui Gu, Georgina Lewis, Andy Li, Robert A. McCann, Tim McCool, Hans van Meeuwen, Melaney Ann Mitchell, Yorgos Papafigos, Aaron Pennington, Brian Reddy, Chris Revelle, Carlos Enrique Rodriguez, Justin C. Rounds, Pat Shannon, Sophia Sobers, Jxmie Timms and Mandy Cano Villalobos

Curator’s Statement
The rise of the gig or sharing economy is heralded as a disruptive moment in how new services and ideas are presented to consumers and how these services are parceled out and monetized. In most cases, “you” are the product and “you” provide the service, while a platform corporation takes a cut of the fees charged. Falsely embedded in this concept is a supposed ethos of freedom, a cavalier insistence of independence that allows people to work for whomever they want whenever they want while either supplementing their income or working for a living wage. In many cases, the opposite is true: the companies that create these platforms often incentivize working longer hours and more often, offering no benefits while insisting upon the “contractor status” of their employees. Proprietary algorithms, running behind glossy and easy to use apps are constantly directing an increasingly isolated workforce to complete task after task, with numbing efficiency.

This exhibition seeks to portray and explore the emotional, economic, and truly disruptive nature of work based on this new technology-centered model. Responses could range from depictions of the work itself, to abstract assessments of smart technologies and digressions on connectivity and isolation: The phone in your pocket or purse, and how you use it and how it uses you. Services you utilize, even to hook-up. Is dating work? Interactions with the gig economy, what do you share? And whom with? Who works for you? What do they do? What does the rating system do to you and why are you judging strangers? What does the new open-air factory look like? What is the assembly process like? Who co-opted your life and do you care? Where does the money go and who gets it? What is the material nature of the “products” created? Are you complicit or just along for the ride?

View the full call for entries here. Please note the call closed September 8, 2017. We are no longer taking submissions at this time.


Mills Gallery hours

12–5 pm

12 noon–9 pm

12 noon–5 pm

Institutional supporters

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Barr Foundation and The Klarman Family Foundation in collaboration with the Barr-Klarman Arts Capacity Building Initiative

Bloomberg Philanthropies

National Endowment for the Arts


Massachusetts Cultural Council


Liberty Mutual Foundation


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