Below an excerpt of Theo Beckers's essay 'Free time: The rise and fall of a social project', commissioned by 'Amikejo' artists Iratxe Jaio and Klaas van Gorkum to complement the publication section dedicated to their multi-part project 'Producing time in between other things' (2011), which revolves around the changing values of labour and property: "Have you ever heard the story of the African fisherman? In the early light of dawn, he would set out to sea in his little boat, fish for a few hours, return to port, sell his catch and then spend the rest of the day in the shade of a tree on the beach, contemplating the meaning of life and other pleasant thoughts. An economist from the World Bank appeared one day and asked him why he didn’t take advantage of all that spare time by fishing longer, and going further out to sea with a larger boat. This would bring in more fish and thus more profit. In the long run, this would enable the fisherman to buy more and even bigger boats, and even hire people to do the work for him. Eventually, he could make so much money that he wouldn’t need to work anymore and could afford to lie on the beach the whole day. At which the fisherman laughed and asked the economist, “Why would I go through all that trouble?” The history of Western society’s relationship with time clearly illustrates, however, that it is the economist who had the last laugh, not the fisherman." Theo Beckers was Professor of Leisure Studies at Tilburg University and is now on the faculty of the Tilburg Sustainability Center, the Netherlands, and Visiting Professor at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing. Translated from the Dutch by Klaas van Gorkum.
Further publication details:
Title | Título 'Amikejo' Editor | Edita Latitudes Publisher & Distributor | Publica y distribuye Mousse Publishing and MUSAC Format | Formato 22,5x15,5cm, 216 pp., hardcover Language | Idiomas English/Spanish
Editorial Coordination | Coordinación editorial Latitudes and Carlos Ordás Production | Producción Bruna Roccasalva
Graphic design | Diseño gráfico Studio Mousse — Marco Fasolini, Fausto Giliberti, Andrea Novali, Francesco Valtolina
Texts | Textos Giorgio Agamben, Theo Beckers, Latitudes, Prof. Peter Osborne, Georges Perec, Prof. Dr. Menno Schilthuizen, Ryszard Zelichowski