Andrew Norman Wilson
Sunday, 7 August 2011
Work from FlowSpot.
“FlowSpot shifts focus from corporate worker to leisure consumer, placing more emphasis on play than critique. Whereas Virtual Assistance involves attempts to “get to the bottom of things,” FlowSpot emerges from circulation itself, mobility itself, and the proliferating Image(s) of globalization and futurity that are seemingly disconnected from their modes of production and organization. FlowSpot reflexively operates within the experience economy – where experience itself becomes a commodity – that not only produces certain arrangements within art fairs and biennials (where lounges, lounges as sites for art, and lounges as art all melt together), but also airport lounges, hotel lounges, mall lounges, and bank lounges. These are highly concentrated areas of exchange, transformation and passage, meeting places between a delocalized technical culture and a localized global culture. They make up the urban field, which is no longer the domain of a civic openness (as the traditional city was), but the territory of a middle-class culture, characterized by increasing mobility, mass consumption, and mass recreation.
There are obvious anxieties over entering the urban field, and in spaces of travel or consumption we carry soothing attachments into what are meant to be soothing environs. Airport design is often geared towards lowering stress levels through safe, coherent, understated, antiseptic, environs. An architecture of feeling, where effected passengers are more susceptible to parting with their cash and less susceptible to act in unexpected ways. The act of consumption as a soothing experience in and of itself. And then there are massage kiosks, oxygen lounges, even full blown airport spas offering aromatherapy facials, lap pools, saunas, steam rooms, and tanning booths. Affective labor and the products of manufactured labor fulfill individual needs and desires, blurring vocation and vacation while concealing the conditions and experience of their production…” – Nicholas O’Brein for Bad at Sports