Boston, MA – Boston Center for the Arts opens its Fall 2017 exhibition season in the Mills Gallery
with the 25th iteration of its signature Open Call Drawing Show, juried and curated this year by artist,
writer and independent curator Robert Moeller on the subject of The Gig Economy.
25th Drawing Show

The Gig Economy: Depictions of Life and Responses to Work in the Digital Bazaar
On view November 4, 2017–January 7, 2018
Opening Reception Saturday, November 4 | 7-10 pm
Curated by Robert Moeller

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
Also featuring "Talk to an Expert" with digital labor specialist Mary L. Gray

The rise of the gig or sharing economy was heralded as a disruptive moment in how new services and
ideas were presented to consumers and how these services were parceled out and monetized. Falsely
embedded in this concept was a supposed ethos of freedom, a cavalier insistence on independence
that allowed people to work for whomever they wanted whenever they wanted while either
supplementing their income or working for a living wage. In many cases, the opposite is true: the
companies that created these platforms often incentivize working longer hours while offering no
benefits and 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 range from depictions of microeconomies
like bottle collecting and prostitution, to abstract assessments of smart technologies and
digressions on connectivity and isolation. A pen is attached to a computer mouse and activities are
mapped. The lurid and often celebratory nature of the sexualized “Selfie” is examined via a series of
drawings that recast new modes of intimacy and sharing.
The phone in your pocket or purse, and how you use it and how it uses you are reconsidered. Services
you utilize, even to hook-up… Is dating work? Tinder profiles, real and imagined, are shared and
conversations are observed and decoded. Remotely controlled interactions with the gig economy are
repurposed and tasks are assigned to workers who arrive to record their finances. What will 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 enthusiastically complicit or just along
for the ride?
Exhibition juror and curator Robert Moeller is an artist, writer and independent curator. His work has
been included in numerous group and solo exhibitions, including most recently a solo exhibition
called Redacted: No Further Information Available… in May 2017 at Gallery Kayafas, where his work is
represented in Boston. His writing about visual culture has appeared in a variety of publications,
including Hyperallergic, Big Red & Shiny, Artnet, AfterImage and Art New England.

Moeller’s curatorial practice has focused over the last several years on an on-going pop-up project that
seeks to integrate the work of both emerging and established artists in short-duration exhibitions
where the work is inserted into gaps in gallery or institutional programming. These exhibitions have
appeared, however briefly, in Boston at the Mills Gallery, Distillery Gallery, Gallery Kayafas and
Montserrat College of Art in Beverly MA.
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