From the weariness (II) | Pedro Hernández

Hefner working in his bedroomoffice at the Chicago mansionc | Photo provided by Playboy Enterprises)
Hefner working in his bedroomoffice at the Chicago mansion | Photography: source Playboy Enterprises)

Or of the bed
or of the rest does not take place for.

In different publications like Advertising and privacyThe domesticity in war or Sexuality and Space,, the historian and investigator Beatriz Colomina has planned an alternative reading of the architecture and on how along the 20th century and thanks to the development and expansion of different optical and mercantile technologies – from the X-rays to the announcements of magazines – the notions have been re-defined between the public thing and the private thing, as well as the use and the gestión of the time that organizes our lives. The Spanish woman has aimed, for example, that the rigid temporary limits that were determining that the best structure of one-8th hours to sleep, 8 to work and 8 to enjoy that gave form to good part of the city and the urbanism during the 20th century across his clear separation of uses, has transformed now under the plan of the new formulae of work. In one of his last investigations – developed in different texts like The century of the bed, The Office in the Boudoir Privacy and publicity in the age of social media1— is served an information emphasized in 2012 by the periodic The Wall Street Journal that he warns that 80 % of the young professionals of the city of New York works from his own beds thanks to his portable computers:

“[The bed] it has turned into the place where really the people not only work, but also it connects”(*).

Though the economic transformations that the world has suffered in the last decades turn out to be too complex as to establish them in this text of detailed and precise form, it would not find it hard to us to imagine very much how, with the movement of the big factories of production and assembly to zones of Asia – where the workforce turns out to be much cheaper – the industrial work has been disappearing increasingly of the peripheries of the big cities, displaced towards more distant others, leaving in the way – specially in Europe – many areas in disuse that they have now the need to transform in new urban phenomena that it them turns, once again, productive. The work – in the first world called to less – reaches now an immaterial, nearest range to a service that to the production of goods4. It appears, though it is of very shallow form, some of the directives of the current work:

“After the crisis of 2008 the whole new generation is without work in the traditional places, but it survives with a series of works of freelance”(*).

Hugo Hefner al frente de su imperio de comunicación desde la cama | Image via
Hugh Hefner at the helm of his media empire the bed | Image: source

To affect in this superviviencia is important. In his text To be Liberated of everything: work freelance and mercenary – published as part of the book The reprobates of the screen – the German artist Hito Steyerl analyzes this figure. Free-lance means literally “Free lance” and his origin is planned up to the medievo, where the term was designating that soldier who was not tied to any owner, being able to be contracted for very specific tasks during a time. Without commitment in the time with a great company – of which it receives contract nor presentations – the contemporary freelance is the best exponent of the current precariousness, always in the search of new works that guarantee his resources in some time and that it takes to them to the autoexploitation in long labor autowell versed days:

“In situations as New York, where the space is very limited and where the majority of the people lives in a study that practically you open the door and throw yourself in the bed, this one has turned into the center of the universe, a universe into the one that exists neither night nor day”(*).

This way, one is not employed only at the bed because these new workers do not take his office as a way of reducing costs – that also – but the increase of the autonomous work from our homes, supported by the portability of our sources of work – computers increasingly light and powerful – reverberates also in the labor and social dynamics that happen in our daily life, reorganizing the form in which we occupy the time and the space.

Citizenfour, de Laura Poitras
Citizenfour, by Laura Poitras

It is not disheveled to assure that today in our beds already we neither sleep, we nor rest, nor enjoy any type of pleasure. Condemned to the screen, we are kept in vilo, always awake and connected, working to be able to come in order month. In this new world – it aims At Colomina – the bed has turned into a new scene for some conquests: that of the autonomy of the own work or that of the corporations that contract this horizontal worker without need to invest in new spaces and architectural infrastructures. Thanks to this spatial and temporary reformulation of our beds, our bodies remain now come down to strolling around in the domestic interior spaces – something that can illustrate also the systematic destruction that suffers the public space – and in which the work, in many cases, surrenders to a constant monitoring3. Beatriz Colomina warns this also:

“In Laura Poitras’ Citizenfour movie, we see The Edward Snowden’s first planes sat in the bed of a hotel of Hong Kong during days and days, surrounded with his portable computers, in communication with journalists in the room and about the world, on the secret of the massive global vigilance. The major invasion of the privacy in the history of the planet is revealed from a bed”;

and she adds and notices:

“Tthe major public figure of the world is now a prisoner”.4

'Ein Bett für Snowden'
‘Ein Bett für Snowden’

Of being like that, the bed is also the last place for the resistance. In Germany, the bed is once a space of fight, the movement Ein Bett fur Snowden (A bed for Snowden) was offering bed for the American ex-spy. Will they be the beds where, already finally, to be liberated of everything?

Pedro Hernández · architect
Ciudad de México. july 2016


1 These texts are published, respectively, in the catalogue of the exhibition The century of the bed; in the book that accompanies the pavilion of The United States OfficeUS of the Biennial show of Venice 2014; and the book 2000+: The Urgencies of Architectural Theory.

2 I think that it turns out important to warn that this topic turns out to be too complex to be summarized in the previous paragraph, which only wants to be a possible sample of the current situation.

3 A lot of works from house are monitored in the time of work due to the fact that a worker must connect to a system that monitors how much it works and in what spends the time. It forms a of less visible exploitation motivated in the major lack of definition of schedules. If to it we him add that, with the connections and current networks.

4 COLOMINA, Beatriz. Privacy and publicity in the age of social media. I2000+: The Urgencies of Architectural Theory.

(*) Interview realized by the author to Beatriz Colomina, March, 2016.

Soy arquitecto por la Universidad de Alicante, pero mi interés sobre esta disciplina se encuentra alejado de su papel tradicional de diseño de espacios. Más bien, me interesa entender cómo las representaciones de la arquitectura, el paisaje, el diseño o el territorio construyen y materializan determinados discursos ideológicos, imponiendo posturas, subjetividades y formas de acción sobre los cuerpos que la habitan.

En mi trabajo edito estos discursos –sus imágenes, sus historias o sus restos materiales– y reelaboro comentarios críticos que ponen en evidencia sus controversias y contradicciones, formalizándolos en diversos formatos como textos, fotografías, vídeos, objetos o instalaciones, muchas veces entrecruzados entre sí.

He publicado artículos y ensayos en diversos medios de Estados Unidos, Italia, Croacia, España, Chile y México. Desde enero de 2013-2018 residí en la Ciudad de México donde trabajaba como coordinador de contenidos en Arquine. Actualmente resido en Madrid.

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Filed under: lighthouse, Pedro Hérnandez Martínez

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