As a graphic designer who has direct experience of exploitation through employment, I am interested in researching the subjective experience of underpaid workers in New Zealand. In doing this I have sought to creatively synthesize experiences into artworks that provide a deeper insight into the impact of underpaid work. Through this investigation I have attempted to contribute to a broader discussion of underpaid work than what is currently provided, through the analysis of statistical data. In undertaking this project I have also been concerned with investigating new potentials in serigraphy (a graphic medium traditionally associated with working-class politics). I have inquired into how it might be used to create a visual ‘voice’ for contemporary workers’ narratives. Accordingly, this project has employed audio recordings of three personal stories. The research has led to the production of a series of serigraphic prints that artistically interpret the journeys and experiences of the participants. These images sit in discourse with looped audio excerpts of their recorded interviews. In this approach, narratives of marginalization that have often been muted through their presentation as written records, have been re-conceptualised as an artists’ images, with which the recordings are in discussion. The second phase of this project moves concerns with narratives of underpaid work into spatiotemporal environments. Audio recordings of worker’s stories are fused with typographical treatments and imagery to produce a series of short films. The advantage of this approach is that these texts are more widely available and operate outside of the cultural exclusivity of the art gallery and the graphic design field.
|Keywords:||Graphic Designer, Workers’ Narratives, Minimum Wage in New Zealand, Creatively Synthesize, Visual ‘Voice’ for Contemporary Workers’, Narratives of Marginalization, Worker’s Stories, Spatiotemporal Environments|
Senior Lecturer Auckland University of Technology, School of Art and Design, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand
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