Carly Chubak


2020. Incandescent lights, mechanical timers, extension cord, time. Variable dimensions.

Carly Chubak’s Non-Exempt depicts labor directly through energy—the bulbs work a standard 8-hour work day, with lunch and rest breaks as required by California Labor Law. Each bulb starts its day at 9am, and takes a half hour lunch at 1pm (Labor Code 512). They must each receive a minimum of two 10-minute rest breaks during their 8 hour day (8 California Code of Regulations 11040, Section 12 Rest Periods), and because Chubak is a generous employer, she gives them two 15-minute breaks to be taken at their discretion. Non-Exempt explores the difficulties facing the modern workforce, particularly young people. The monotony of the canonical 8-hour workday is often seen as oppressive, but in today’s uncertain gig economy, it can be seen as comforting as the warm glow of an incandescent lightbulb. The structure of the sculpture mirrors the structure of the idealized American workforce, aligned both physically and mentally.

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