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"Call for Aritsts: Automation an Interdisciplinary Exhibition"
2006-09-14 until 2006-11-04
Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit
USA United States of America
From the birthplace of the automobile, The Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit (CAID) is soliciting proposals for its all media, Interdisciplinary exhibition AUTOMATION, to be held in January 6 through January 20, 2007. The exhibition will be juried by members of the CAID board. The ability to produce repeatable (if not homogeneous) products in marketable volumes to predictable standards of quality, has underpinned our systems of economic production and consumption over the last century. Abstraction, repetition, aggregation, encapsulation, order, etc. are some of the underlying principles on which our work, leisure, society, environment, etc. are organized and managed. Our material environment is dominated by the output of automation and is readily characterized in terms of its "mass". But so too are our aesthetics and culture.
Artists of all disciplines are invited to submit proposals for work investigating the pervasive influence of automation in the design of our society. As the dominant modes of economic production and industrial organization evolve, we challenge the collective artistic imagination to engage the methods, tools, and processes – whether conceptual, organizational, or material – that have enabled automation, in order to examine one of the most powerful memes of our recent history.
If Detroit is the manifest symptom of the hangover from the old ways of automated production, the challenge is to harness the potential of the new and to lead the way through artistic exploration.
The Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit is a community based non-profit organization. CAID fosters and promotes the essential link between contemporary arts and contemporary society through its exhibitions, performances, critical and public discourse, and the funding of contemporary arts and art related activities. For the history of CAID or other information please visit the website at www.thecaid.org.
A Primer on Automation
Henry Ford coined the term 'automation' but did not himself invent the assembly line (which originated in the conveyor belts of the meat-packing industry), or the logic of uniform decomposition of a product into perfectly exchangeable parts (for which the Colt gun factory takes credit).
Ford's genius was the automation of human labor through the articulation of the manufacturing process into a sequence of precisely specified tasks, to be performed repeatedly and measured precisely in order to facilitate managerial co-ordination and control. He turned craftsmen into machines, and in the process improved productivity tenfold. In this devil’s bargain, Ford's workforce was initially rewarded with the legendary $5 a day wage (double the prevailing rate at the time).
Of course, the monolithic approach to mass production favored by Henry Ford has since undergone sea changes driven by everything from Alfred P. Sloan's development of planned obsolescence through annual styling changes, and his marketing-driven aspirational product hierarchy at GM; the just-in-time demand-driven efficiencies of the Toyota Production System; and the globalization of development, sourcing, production, distribution, and marketing.
In the process, new production methods have opened the way to mass customization at an affordable cost, more nimble forms of industrial organization, and have even re-invested the line worker with personal responsibility and human intelligence.
Submission deadline is November 4, 2006. For more information on how to submit go to: http://www.thecaid.org/.
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