Cao Fei, film still from 11.11, 2018. Courtesy of the artist and Vitamin Creative Space. Commissioned by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, for the Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Chinese Initiative

Curated by Aily Nash and Andrew Norman Wilson

Image Employment presents recent moving image works that investigate various modes of contemporary labor and production. These works consider the growing confluence of human and machinic technologies, corporate lifestyle, globalized capitalism and its extraction and exploitation of workers and the environment, as well as the psychic effects of these forms of labor. 

Two programs bring together works from around the world to address the impacts of cultural, economic, and technological transformation. From videos that consider labor through interventions into sites of emergent industries, performative uses of commercial media tropes, and an understanding of consumption and communication as forms of production—these makers engage the omnipotent culture of capital that gives this program its title: Dream Factory. Automation and Machinic Intelligence explores the complex dynamics between human labor and that which, in many fields, is set to supplant it: automated production processes and artificial intelligence. 

Image Employment also presents three feature-length films including Cao Fei’s 11:11, which documents the accelerated work phase of one of China’s largest e-commerce companies –—both before and after the Double Eleven Shopping Day, the Chinese equivalent of Black Friday. In Kevin Jerome Everson’s Quality Control, African-American workers from an Alabama dry-cleaning factory are shown relentlessly carrying out their jobs in real-time. Everson explores the duration and physicality of labor through a series of long shots that draw attention to particular tasks such as working the pant press or ironing shirts. SHAKEDOWN is a time capsule of a weekly party at a club owned and operated by women in Los Angeles’ underground lesbian strip club scene in the early 2000s. The film explores the ins and outs of the emotional, physical and affective labor that went into the creation of this community-oriented space of queer expression where black women’s desires, power, and autonomy were centered.


Screening Program:

Dream Factory

The Trainee

Pilvi Takala, 2008, 13 min, HD Video, color and sound

A New Product

Harun Farocki, 2012, 36 min, HD video, color and sound

K-CoreaINC.K (section a)

Ryan Trecartin, 2009, 33 min, HD video, color and sound

Come to me Paradise

Stephanie Comilang, 2016, 25:45 min, HD video, color and sound

It’s a red mountain, and in the fall, it’s natural to make some sweet persimmons.

Li Ziqi, 2018, 5 min, HD video, color and sound



Automation & Machinic Intelligence

1834 – La Mémoire de Masse

Fabien Giraud & Raphaël Siboni, 2015, 13 min, HD video, color and sound

Da Vinci

Yuri Ancarani, 2012, 25 min, HD video, color and sound




Riar Rizaldi, 2019, 18min, HD video, color and sound.

My Finger Family Rhymes, Funny Animals Swimming Race Animals INDOOR PLAYGROUND For Kids 3D Colors Animals Finger Family Songs

Anonymous, 2017, 30 min 54 seconds, HD video, color and sound


Quality Control

Quality Control

Kevin Jerome Everson, 2011, 71min, HD video, color and sound
Image: © Kevin Jerome Everson; courtesy the artist; Trilobite-Arts DAC; Picture Palace Pictures



E-Commerce Labor


Cao Fei, 2018, 60 min, HD video, color and sound






Leilah Weinraub, 2018, 82 min, DCP, color and sound




Gallery Screening Schedule:

11:05 a.m. – Cao Fei, 11:11

12:05 p.m. – Pilvi Takala, The Trainee

12:20 p.m. – Harun Farocki, A New Product

12:55 p.m. – Ryan Trecartin, K-CorealNC.K (section a)

1:30 p.m. – Stephanie Comilang, Come to me Paradise

2:00 p.m. – Li Ziqi, It’s a red mountain, and in the fall, it’s natural to make some sweet persimmons.

2:05 p.m. – Kevin Jerome Everson, Quality Control

3:15 p.m.Fabien Giraud & Raphaël Siboni, La Mémoire de Masse

3:30 p.m. – Yuri Ancarani, Da Vinci 

3:55 p.m. – Riar Rizaldi, Kasiterit

4:10 p.m. – Anonymous, My Finger Family Rhymes, Funny Animals Swimming Race Animals INDOOR PLAYGROUND For Kids 3D Colors Animals Finger Family Songs

4:40 p.m. – Leilah Weinraub, SHAKEDOWN

Related Programs:

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2019  | 6:00 PM
Conversations At The Edge
Gene Siskel Film Center
164 North State Street

Image Employment – Aily Nash
2012–2019, United States/United Kingdom/Hong Kong/Canada/Italy/Germany, multiple formats, ca. 75 min followed by discussion


Aily Nash is a curator based in New York. She is co-curator of the Projections section of the New York Film Festival, and program advisor to the International Film Festival Rotterdam’s Short Film section. She served as a Biennial advisor and co-curator of the film program for the 2017 Whitney Biennial, and was Head of Programming for the 2018 edition of the Images Festival in Toronto. She has curated programs and exhibitions for MoMA PS1 (New York), Brooklyn Academy of Music (New York), Anthology Film Archives (New York), Institute of Contemporary Art (London), Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art (Helsinki), Tabakalera Centre for Contemporary Culture (San Sebastian), FACT (Liverpool), Image Forum (Tokyo), Ghost:2561 (Bangkok) and others. She curated five seasons of the Basilica Screenings series at Basilica Hudson (2012-2016). In 2015, she was awarded a Curatorial Fellowship from the Andy Warhol Foundation. In 2018, she commissioned new works by artists James N. Kienitz Wilkins and Lucy Raven through the Finnish Cultural Institute New York’s MOBIUS Curatorial Fellowship in partnership with PUBLICS and Heureka, Finnish Science Center.

Andrew Norman Wilson is an artist based in Los Angeles. Solo exhibitions include the Kunstverein Braunschweig (2019), the Fotomuseum Winterthur (2019), Center for Contemporary Art Futura (2018), and the Broad Art Museum in Michigan (2017). Recent group exhibitions include Picture Industry at Luma Arles (2018), Techne and the Decency of Means at the Künstlerhaus Stuttgart (2017), Dreamlands at the Whitney Museum of American Art (2017), the Gwangju Biennial (2016), the Berlin Biennial (2016), Bread and Roses at the Museum of Modern Art Warsaw (2016), and On Sweat, Paper and Porcelain at CCS Bard in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York (2015). He has lectured at Oxford University, Cambridge University, Harvard University, Yale University, and UCLA, where he is now visiting faculty. His work has been featured in Aperture, Art in America, Artforum, ArtReview, BOMB, Camera Austria, Frieze, The New Yorker, and Wired. He has published writing in Artforum, e-flux, DIS, and a Darren Bader monograph from Koenig Books. He has curated programs and exhibitions for MoMA PS1, FACT Liverpool, Kunstlerhaus Stuttgart, e-flux, and more.