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Emily Shanahan
Work Life Harmony

Published by Sming Sming Books

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April 2020, English, 10 x 7in, 74 pages, color, spiral bound
Edition of 100
Design: Sming Sming Books

Emily Shanahan's Work Life Harmony addresses the interweaving of labor and leisure time in organizational culture. The book combines excerpted lyrics from a 1937 edition of an IBM corporate songbook with photographs of the Amazon Spheres, three domed conservatories at the Amazon headquarters in Seattle, WA that function as an employee lounge and workspace. A transcript of Shanahan’s sound piece Breathing Exercise appears throughout the book, presenting an account of a voice assistant who loses control of their voice. Together with transparencies that float atop photographs like screens, these layered materials consider how biophilic design and the affective dimension of postdigital corporate culture transform agency into productivity.

Emily Shanahan (b. 1984) was born in Montréal, Québec. She received an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in 2013 and completed the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program in 2018. Working primarily in video and mixed media, her work has been exhibited in Norway, Germany, Singapore, Canada, and the United States. In 2019 she was the recipient of a Canada Council for the Arts Research and Creation Grant and was awarded a summer fellowship from the Terra Foundation for American Art in Giverny, France. In 2016 she participated in the New Museum Seminars: (Temporary) Collections of Ideas. Her first artist book,The Tick vs. the Hum was published by Golden Spike Press and is held in the Whitney Museum Library Collection. She lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.