web app, installation, performance, 2019-20.
Can doing nothing be the ultimate form of labour in the age of automation?
Borrowing its name from Ivan Goncharov’s character Ilya Ilyich Oblomov, the laziest character in world literature, the Oblomo project is a “non-work for work” trading platform. The project raises the question: can doing nothing be the ultimate form of labour in the age of automation? By employing the same technologies that make us actually work all the time, such as biometrics, the Oblomo platform turns laziness into a value, both ethically and economically. It democratises once privileged values and changes our perspective on laziness from something despicable into something worthy, thus turning laziness into a productive activity with purchasing power.
Based on a blockchain with its own cryptocurrency, the Oblomo platform rewards users for being still. When the machine learning software rig (the AI rig) detects the user’s non-activity, it rewards him/her with Oblomo coins. In this process, known as coin minting, the system creates coins from an Om block – the foundation of the blockchain – which functions in the system as raw material and is mined according to the protocol set forth in the performance Om for Coin. With the earned coins in the wallet, users can go to the platform’s market and buy various services and goods offered by other users who want to
When public life closes its doors, art opens a window @ Aksioma | Project Space, Ljubljana
With the opening of the exhibition Oblomo: Busy Being Lazy, Aksioma presents a brand new format: #comeby and #peek! Aksioma | Project Space will open its windows wide on Wednesday and invite you to laze around. On tablets accessible from the street, you will be able to mine crypto-coins, to peek into the Oblomo market, where our sleeping “seller” will (not) help you spend your earnings. If you’re too lazy to leave your apartment, don’t worry – you can also mine coins into your Oblomo wallet from the comfort of your home couch.
The exhibition combines four spaces – gallery, public, private and internet. You will be able to non-work in any of them, and the #drivein market will be open for you every day until. Let your laziness finally pay off!
Mining and shopping with Oblomos in in the framework of the Dopolavoro flagship of the Rijeka 2020 – European Capital of Culture
Om for Coin
PERFORMANCE & EXHIBITION
Start of the project at Aksioma | Project Space, Ljubljana, 2019
With the rise of artificial intelligence and the automation of labour, the value of human non-work is about to radically change. The performance Om for Coin marks the launch of the blockchain platform Oblomo, which aims at turning non-work into a value with the help of blockchain technology. Users on the platform will mint the Oblomo cryptocurrency by being still, sitting, meditating or lying down in front of their devices, while observed by a machine learning software rig (the AI rig).
In the performance Om for Coin, three individuals – the “miners” – will be sitting still while performing the meditation mantra “Om” in front of a live audience. All the while, the AI rig will be surveilling them and recording their meditation into the blockchain. This procedure will create the first record of blocks in a long chain of blocks that will follow in the continuation of the project. The central part of the performance is the realisation of the protocol in which certain conditions must be met: the surveillance of idle miners by the AI rig in a process that is verified by the audience. This protocol is used to control the quantity of Om blocks from which it will be possible to continue minting the cryptocurrency. As a result, it controls the amount of raw material in the system: each time it runs out, the above procedure must be repeated. In contrast to other crypto mining systems, Oblomo requires hardly any electricity and represents an innovative ecological alternative to the otherwise endlessly wasteful process of crypto mining.
Video of the performance: 4’45
Busy being Lazy
BILLBOARD STREET EXHIBITION
TAM-TAM Street Gallery, 2019
Busy being Lazy is an urban intervention which calls on us to answer the question: can doing nothing be the ultimate form of labour in the age of automation? With the rise of artificial intelligence and the automation of labour, the value of human non-work is about to radically change. This street exhibition is part of the project Oblomo, a cryptocurrency platform which aims to turn non-work into a value. By employing the same technologies that make us actually work all the time, such as biometrics, the Oblomo platform turns laziness into a value, both ethically and economically. It democratises once privileged values and changes our perspective on laziness from something despicable into something noble and worthy. Laziness will thus become a productive activity with buying power. You can find out more about the project on the exhibition Om for Coin at Aksioma | Project Space.
Programmer: Sunčica Hermansson
Thanks: Uroš Hercog, Nebojša Živković, Ruth Catlow, Max Dovey, Franc Solina, Borut Batagelj, Dominik Hudoklin, Florijan Germovšek, Matjaž Duh
Production: Aksioma – Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana, 2019-2020
Co-production: Drugo more, Rijeka
This project is a co-production in the framework of the Dopolavoro flagship of the Rijeka 2020 – European Capital of Culture project, with support from the City of Rijeka – Department of Culture, the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia, the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia and the Municipality of Ljubljana.