Imagine that tomorrow you wake up on this planet and all social, organizational and communication technologies have disappeared—i.e., email, mobile phones, apps. Anyone who considered themselves a technologist has vanished as well. And no one has a memory of any of these technologies, except for you. This is a post-pandemic world itching with dissatisfaction about tedious bureaucracy and how much we labor, and determined to build lives of meaning. In this vision, you value connecting with others, patience, empathy, ethics, and the right to be lazy, unproductive, creative, complicated, and contradictory. You loved certain aspects of the digital world. For example, it allowed you to exist somewhere and in other worlds at the same time. You treasure having access to multiple points of view that catapult you out of one-way, teller-receiver narratives and teach you to be more flexible. And so you have been appointed the Director of Social Technology with the power to commission and design new technologies facilitating social and workplace interactions. No one has any expectations for what you will create because no one remembers the past.
UnProductiveSolutions (UnPro) is an artwork and curatorial project presenting as an online “company” invested in revolutionary, values-based, ethical technologies. Italy-based curator Marialaura Ghidini and U.S.-based artist Rebekah Modrak are in process of intviting artists to imagine technologies to be presented as one of the products of the UnProductiveSolutions company.
Imagined technologies may be digital, a combination of digital and analog, or post-digital (meaning, an imagined mode of transmission), do not need to be plausible, may be fantastic, should be sincere, and should be critical of existing ones in their attempt to generate alternative models. UnProductiveSolutions is not skeptical or parodic.
Curator Marialaura Ghidini and artist/writer Rebekah Modrak collaboate to disrupt the rhetoric of digital technologies, e-commerce, and the workings of online platforms. Collaborators as Modrak&Ghidini since 2015, their project #exstrange (2017) intervened into the online marketplace between January 15 and April 15, 2017. http://exstrange.com/
Marialaura Ghidini is a curator whose work explores the intersections between art, technology and society. She is visiting researcher for the project curating.online at the Exhibition Research Lab (ERL), Liverpool John Moores University in Liverpool (UK).
Rebekah Modrak’s practice is at the intersections of art, activism, critical design, and creative resistance to consumer culture. Her Internet-based artworks critique brand messaging. She is a professor at the Stamps School of Art & Design at the University of Michigan.