Exhibited in some of the most important museums of the world, including the MoMA and the Whitney Museum of American Art, the work of Elisa Giardina Papa explores gender, sexuality, and labour in relation to neoliberal capitalism and technology.
Labor of Sleep, Have you been able to change your habits?? is a video performance that every day, at sunrise and sunset, interrupts the Romaeuropa Festival website and its social media presence. The work consists of a series of short video clips, that plays out over nine days and critically references self-improvement apps. With this work, Giardina Papa suggests that sleep has become the newest frontier for gathering behavioural and biological data in order to optimize sleeping patterns, thereby turning the time that our bodies use to rest and replenish into a form of labour devoted to data extraction.
In this way, digital devices function as both a poison and its remedy, providing relief for the time they take away. We sleep less, but – they promise – we can learn how to sleep faster.
Elisa Giardina Papa Labor of Sleep, Have you been able to change your habits??, 2017 Courtesy of Whitney Museum of American Art