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A*DESK has been offering since 2002 contents about criticism and contemporary art. A*DESK has become consolidated thanks to all those who have believed in the project, all those who have followed us, debating, participating and collaborating. Many people have collaborated with A*DESK, and continue to do so. Their efforts, knowledge and belief in the project are what make it grow internationally. At A*DESK we have also generated work for over one hundred professionals in culture, from small collaborations with reviews and classes, to more prolonged and intense collaborations.
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This is a collective text, a collage, a patchwork, a centon made up of remnants and patches of some of the responses collected throughout the months of July and August of this peculiar 2020.
At the beginning of the summer, we asked the question: why do you continue to work? or, in other words, why do you continue to work in this way? why do you continue to accept these conditions? why do you continue to work in a sector that is neither valued nor appreciated, not only by the majority of society but often by the very agents who work in this sector? why do you continue to suffer and torture yourself?
Artists, writers and curators, a DJ and an archaeologist, some critics and some theater directors have answered – of course this question can only make sense to those who don’t (always) work for money.
We go on because we are slaves of some unknown and mysterious external force that pushes us around and haunts us like a ghost, we go on because it is an addiction and we cannot stop -no, not now. We continue because we are already here and we can’t and don’t know or want to do anything else –becausewhatelsecouldIdo? We continue out of inertia, because it has been a while and to give up would mean throwing away efforts, illusions, dreams and nightmares. We continue as if scrolling down while we look at those who whisper, sing or scream that they will never work again. We continue because we do not know how not to do and even not to do is already doing something.
We have combined and continue to combine work in this -what we like, what it does to us, what we believe in- with food jobs in construction, in call centers and at the University, we continue in this even though most of the time the income comes from our jobs as designers, teachers or ghostwriters; we continue and continue while we adjust all this to our lives, our maternity homes… Sometimes we work in this because we are asked to and because we are given money, because even though it is hard to convince us –but was this a job? yes, this, this is a job! and visiting museums, interviewing artists, reflecting on the works, is a job. We go on because we are lazy, we like to wander around and lavorare stanca. We continue because even though we are anxious, tired, dazed, hypnotized and restless we know that this is the closest thing to not working.
We continue because we don’t know why we continue, because we don’t ask ourselves this anymore and because if we knew it we would inevitably stop. We continue to work even though sometimes it seems that we are launching messages like rockets into space. We continue because we took the bait, we were fooled and we (self) fooled: we thought this was a game, a debate, a dance. We continue because many times we suffer but many other times we have a hard time. We continue to work with friends, to meet interesting people and because by doing (together) we learn. We continue out of enthusiasm and masochism, out of love and desire, porcuriosidad and porverquesale, because here we can do what we want without being taken for a fool. We continue by vocation, because we want, we wanted and we will want, we continue because we can continue and we do not see another option to be and to be in the world. We continue to sleep well and to be calm in spirit. We continue because of what we do not live.
We continue to work for ourselves and for others, to build a common place against all that is strictly practical, useful and commercial, to be able to imagine and generate forms of community and structures of life that challenge the status quo. We continue to work for la volontà che c’era di esprimere un rifiuto radicale del lavoro, della fatica, di tutte le cose che sono caratteristiche del capitalismo. We continue for the revolution, for making it and for telling it. We continue because “culture is the most revolutionary political option in the long term” and because “the conquest of cultural power is prior to that of political power”. We continue and we continue because there is still much to do.
"A desk is a dangerous place from which to watch the world" (John Le Carré)