Caveat is a collective research into the ecology of artistic practice. It is initiated by Jubilee, in partnership with Open Source Publishing, No New Enemies and Été 78. Caveat tries to find more sustainable, balanced ways of operating within the existing legal frameworks. And when the limits of the existing system are reached, it tries to come up with possible new narratives that open up space for reflection.

Joséphine Kaeppelin

Trajectory

Caveat introduced Joséphine Kaeppelin to Beursschouwburg, a multidisciplinary art center in the heart of Brussels. Kaeppelin worked on an audit there, addressing employees from all departments of the institution. Kaeppelin's tools critically mimic the style of a private freelance consultant in order to engage with each of the institution's team members. Kaeppelin creates specific tools (questionnaires, conversations and writing games) for the singular context where each audit takes place.

Why do we work?

The artist's main resource is language: Kaeppelin creates 'games' using spoken or written language that aim at giving a voice to every employee while revealing specific ways of operating through daily work routines. At the same time, those participative actions try to reconfigure and displace that language – with the objective that it will introduce at least a suspension, or even a reconfiguration, of those working routines.

Kaeppelin engages actively in graphic processes that try to find out to what extent the use of software or machines in an opposite way, or the diversion of a programme from its purpose, can be understood as acts of resistance, as ways to create a space for free thought in a defined system.

What do we consider work?

Joséphine Kaeppelin's audit outcome is entirely dependent on the human relations that develop during the inquiry: if the service provider had exchanges with the employees and how much of those exchanges were feeding into her research. Kaeppelin also organizes a vote on the outcome of the vote. According to this vote, the audit report can vary from a large-scale in situ intervention installed for a long term, to a simple A4 black-and-white document that would complete the audit.

Joséphine Kaeppelin's research trajectory and earlier work raises questions about the paradigm of work. Why do we work? What do we consider work? What drives us during work? These questions relate to our current definitions of work, and to the application of labour law. Such questions are high on the agenda at a time when the platform economy is increasingly present, as well as other trends that promote labor flexibility. In that sense, the audits that Kaeppelin performs can have a specific impact on the worker ethics of the employees.

What drives us while working?

Joséphine Kaeppelin – Beursschouwburg contract Caveat organised a negotiation moment between Jubilee, Beursschouwburg and Joséphine Kaeppelin. Together they wrote a collaboration agreement - a contract on the collaboration between parties, experimenting with ways to translate relational contract theory into practice.

Biography

Joséphine Kaeppelin (FR, 1985) is an artist working between France, Belgium and the Netherlands. Kaeppelin has decided to introduce herself as an Intellectual and Graphic Service Provider. As a consultant, she proposes to make an audit within cultural institutions but also in private companies which address different groups of persons or organizations in order to inquire about the instrinsic value of their work. Kaeppelin’s practice critically mimics the style of a private freelance consultant in order to engage with each of the institution’s team members. Kaeppelin creates specific tools (questionnaires, conversations and writing games) for the singular context where each audit takes place. Kaeppelin’s main material is language: her ‘language games’ use spoken or written language, and aim at giving a voice to every employee while revealing specific ways of operating through daily work routines. At the same time, those participative actions try to reconfigure and displace that language – with the aim of introducing at least a suspension or even a reconfiguration of those work routines.

Activities