Tytus Szabelski. AMZN

Temporary exhibitions

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  • Saturday, June 27, 2020 - Sunday, July 5, 2020

‘Leaders are right a lot.’ ‘Leaders develop leaders.’ These and other axioms from the book of ‘leadership principles’ accompany the regular employees of Amazon’s Fulfilment Centres every day at work. Here, fulfilment means not only the swift delivery of the purchased product, but also the feeling of being part of a huge, well-organised organism, whose mantra is efficiency. The fulfilment offered by AMZN is different. Three artists—Piotr Bujak, Irena Kalicka, and Jan Płatek—using common materials and office supplies and equipment, will perform, in the former space of the Goldex Poldex Cooperative, Tytus Szabelski’s AMZN.vnlab.org.

AMZN.vnlab.org is an interactive narrative machine and, at the same time, an open-source exhibition: each user can download the set of materials they browsed for free for any use, be it for research purposes, discussion groups, or creating murals, collages, and interventions in space.

Tytus Szabelski’s interactive project consists of an archive of fragments, images, and gestures for self-assembly. For a year and a half, Szabelski has been looking at the activities of the American giant in Poland: labour relations, corporate culture, and the ways Amazon informs the public about its activities. The artist’s aim is not so much to expose the hidden truth about this company as to show how it redefines the notion of work and participates in a platform capitalism characterised by the vertical integration and global reach of companies such as Google, Microsoft, Airbnb, and Uber. What emerges from these processes is also a new experience of time: 24/7. That is how Jonathan Crary refers to this ‘lit, shadowless world,’ where any change seems impossible because everything has already been optimised. In such a world, the human subject is but a bottleneck that hinders the smooth functioning of the machine.

AMZN.vnlab.org was created in the Interactive Narratives Studio Visual Narratives Laboratory (vnLab) at the Film School in Łódź, under the mentorship of Katarzyna Boratyn and Krzysztof Pijarski, and in close cooperation with Rytm Digital (Paweł Brzeziński/Roman Kühl), who took care of the design and programming side of the experience.

Tytus Szabelski (born 1991) is a photographer and visual artist. He graduated in journalism and social communication from the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, and in photography from the University of the Arts in Poznań, where he is currently carrying out his doctoral studies. He has worked with the Centre of Contemporary Art in Toruń, Miłość Gallery in Toruń, and Krytyka Polityczna magazine [Political Critique]. The former editor of Magenta, an online magazine dedicated to contemporary photography, he is now the editor of the academic art journal Postmedium.

Exhibition open: Thu-Fri 3 pm-7 pm, Sat-Sun 11 am-7 pm
Performance: 27.06. (Saturday) 11 am-7 pm

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