"They created this fake-micro-market where we are forced to compete against each other. But the streets are ours. The traffic, the wind, the rain, the exhaustion, the boredom, bicycle break down – we survived. We never loved Deliveroo. We just loved the streets despite of Deliveroo."
"I feel it, the need to push through the challenge, the traffic, the time pressure, the tiredness – there is a feeling of adrenaline, of freedom. A sort of freedom, yes, although it is not real freedom. I trick myself into feeling free in the midst of being very bound, having a feeling of independence while occupying a subordinate position."
Liquid labour (case no. 1) is a stage performance about the gig economy and about working as bike messenger, performed by three ex-Deliveroo-couriers. It is an exploration and investigation into labour in so-called platform economy, in a business run by big international tech companies, that claim to be the innovative businesses of the future. It is a stage work for three human bodies, bicycles, smart phones and blue-tooth speakers, involving physical effort, beeping apps, and plenty of rants on whatsapp. It explores the experience of providing the human labour in an economy where everything has to be as liquid and lean as possible. It witnesses the juxtapositioning of raw physical labour on the streets of the city, and the immaterial power flowing from control of data and information systems.
In the ideal business of financialised economy, the worker's identity is also a target for manipulation, aimed at producing the perfect neo-liberal subjectivity, a person who embraces the conditions of labour created by the liquid economy. Yet, the performance is also about the thrill and pleasure of making one's living from one's bicycle. The addiction to depending on one's legs for one's living, to a feeling of survival in the city. An addiction which the capitalists are happy to tap for their advantage. These experiences become an element in a game, where the corporations set the rules, and workers play to get most out of the space left for them. It is a game where minimal space for agency is used to create feelings of independence and individual victory.
Liquid Labour is supported by Berlin Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Europa.
Choreography, Performance, Text: Akseli Aittomäki | Performance, Text: Dolita Bubnytė, Mike Dean | Sound design:Markus Daßau | Light design: Hanna Kritten Tangsoo | PR: Felicitas Zeeden
Reduced tickets for former Deliveroo bike couriers and current bike couriers available!
Tickets available here.