Dear Steve - Herman Asselberghs
The ‘subject’ of Herman Asselberghs’ Dear Steve is the most dependable of foot soldiers among the machinery of the present-day culture industry: the laptop. Most of us have one, and their relative invisibility within the field of cultural production – how often do we see laptops in exhibitions or films, let alone as artworks? – contrasts starkly with the indispensability of the mobile computer in the present-day globalized cultural economy. Dear Steve, however, is obviously much more than a lyrical portrait of this pedestrian icon of what Luc Boltanski and Eve Chiapello call ‘the new spirit of capitalism’. In this work, we witness the ruthless, smooth dismantling of a brand-new MacBook Pro, and the act of literally turning the digital work station inside out cannot help but reveal the irreducible materiality of this ‘tool’ that plays such a pivotal role in the triumphalist rhetoric of so-called immaterial labor.
video, color, 16:9, Dutch spoken & English subtitles, BE/NL, 2010, 45'. Admission: free.
Address: Botersloot 44a Rotterdam. Open: 14 May–3 June, 12:00 - 17:00.