Shannon Steen – “Choking on Apple: Creative Labor in the TransPacific Tech World”

Date: April 13, 2017
Time: 4:45pm - 6:15pm
Location: Ahmadieh Family Lecture Hall - C105, Bay 4, Smith Warehouse

Choking on Apple: Creative Labor in the TransPacific Tech World (**will deal with Mike Daisey, among other topics)
Shannon Steen (University of California, Berkeley)

What precisely is "creative labor?" Why do we persist in thinking about creative expression and work as mutually exclusive domains of activity? And what does it mean that we continue to geopoliticize these activities so rigidly? In this talk, Shannon Steen (Performance Studies, UC Berkeley) addresses these questions within the world of transpacific tech labor, in which Silicon Valley is understood as the locus of innovative and transformative labor and its manufacturing counterpart in Shenzhen China is seen as the source of routinized and exploitative work. She analyzes these assumptions via a series of works that theatricalize these questions: Mike Daisey’s The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, Wired media group’s Shenzhen: The Silicon Valley of Hardware, and the theatrical workshops of Shanghai’s Grass Stage with factory workers in Shenzhen.