8 Seconds Rest is filmed in Solidarity Hall in collaboration with on-demand workers — ‘independent contractors’ for platform capitalist companies such as Uber, Deliveroo and Easi.
Solidarity Hall was built to honour the 8-hour-day labour campaign of the 1850s. Fast-forward to 2020, and on-demand workers are working longer hours and paid per ‘gig’ or task. Unpaid waiting between jobs is a big part of these workers’ days, who on average, make less than the minimum hourly wage. Covid-19 has shone a light on the risky and insecure work that has enabled much of society to ‘stay at home’.
For 52 ACTIONS, APHIDS is paying these workers to undertake their liminal labour inside of this historic ‘People’s Palace’. Flanked by the history, banners and political declarations of the trade union movement, our collaborators are working a paid 'shift' for our project.
8 Seconds Rest is part of a larger APHIDS project EASY RIDERS, a collaborative performance made with workers of the on-demand economy.
APHIDS are Eugenia Lim, Mish Grigor, Lara Thoms and Rebecca McCauley
On-Demand workers: Cher Tan and Wasay
Photographer: Aaron Claringbold
APHIDS is a 26-year-old artist-led experimental art organisation based in Melbourne, Australia. Collaborative and future-focused, APHIDS is led by Co-Directors Eugenia Lim, Lara Thoms and Mish Grigor. The work of APHIDS is feminist, intersectional, angry and funny; bringing artists into meaningful exchange with audiences through performance, critical dialogue and unpredictable encounters in the public realm.
Past APHIDS works have been presented in major venues in every state and territory in Australia, and in more unexpected places: in ricefields and samurai hotels in Japan, churches in Finland, industrial zones in Bulgaria, and beamed into outer space. Our collaborators have included funeral directors, scientists, regional societies, motorcycle and senior citizens’ clubs. Our projects promote open, accessible yet complex and rigorous encounters between artists and public.
Aphids was founded in 1994 by Artistic Director/composer David Young, writer/musician Cynthia Troup, visual artist Sarah Pirrie and fashion designer Kath Banger. In 2010, Willoh S. Weiland joined the company as Artistic Director putting her own unique mark on the company ethos with an experimental and innovative program fusing music, performance and new technologies. In 2019 Aphids entered into a new era, led by Co-Directors Eugenia Lim, Lara Thoms and Mish Grigor.
A man with black hair and brown skin is wearing a silver jacket. He stands in front of a red and gold banner with a slogan that reads: 8 hours work, 8 hours recreation, 8 hours rest.
A man with black hair and brown skin is wearing a silver jacket. He stands in front of a red and gold banner with a slogan that reads: 8 hours work, 8 hours recreation, 8 hours rest
A woman with pale skin and long black and blonde hair tied in a pony tail sits scrolling on her phone in front of a heritage mural wall that lists the names of past presidents of the Trades Hall Council.
The back of a man with short black hair and brown skin, dressed in a silver jacket, who is looking down, near the historic wall mural, where a decorative vase is painted with the reminder '888'.
A man with short black hair and brown skin and a woman with pale skin and long black and blonde hair in a pony tail stand in front of a beige archway. The man leans forward looking down, while the woman scrolls through her phone. They stand a bit apart, in front of green curtains. The red and gold of banners below are seen at the edge of the frame.