Elizabeth Shoby

Class of 2021

Instagram: @shobystudio
Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/elizabethshoby

As an artist and worker I hold strong skepticism towards our relationship to work. Growing up and still maintaining a strong work ethic, I question why we adhere to such work values. One aspect of my research looks at how physics defines work as ‘force multiplied by distance’, an equation that is so unrecognizable and inaccurate from how we have come to understand work on a daily basis. When the value of work is not solely defended on economic necessity, When earning long-stagnated wages, not accumulating capital, is the primary concern for workers, When this pandemic has shown a greater divide between the haves and the have-nots, It is difficult to imagine a life not centered around work. So, as an artist my material list includes: cloth, collectivity, endurance, indebtedness, language, movement, productivity, reciprocity, text, time, video, voice, weight, wait Through these gathered materials and the many writers, artists, workers, family, friends, and voices that I look to be in community with, I critique work’s centrality. My installations give notice. Notice to: our devotion to hard work, our adherence to a system of perpetual debt, art’s manufactured divide from work, and the necessity for collectivism.