Package of Time Cards

An almost empty package of what started out as 200 time cards!

Project Update on Clocking in for Unpaid Labor

The Clocking in for Unpaid Labor project started with my own collages on time cards that I’d bought at a creative reuse store.

Then I had the idea to invite others to make cards too, and I bought a pack of 200 on eBay (not realizing yet that I could buy them elsewhere online, or at my local office supply store).

It seemed like a lot, like an amount we’d never go through, but here we are! I’ve handed out or mailed out in business sized (#10) Self-Addressed Stamped Envelopes (SASEs) almost 200 time cards!

Time to order more!

The work of the project now includes:

  • Continuing to get the word out that the project is on-going.
  • Continuing to pitch spaces for public display.
  • Offering hands-on workshops where folks can gather and make time cards together.  (There will be one at MakIt Together in Nebraska at the end of September, and I’m working on scheduling more.)
  • Making a video of all the cards received so far.
  • Looking for grant funding!

This project doesn’t cost too much, other than my time (ironically), though our next expense will be creating little stand-up display boards so the timecards can stand up when displayed in a glass case.  The design of the project was to keep it low-cost and easy to administer – everything fits in a standard envelope.  People send me a SASE, so I don’t even have to address an envelope.

BUT, artists being the awesome, creative people that they are, sometimes the finished cards don’t fit in an envelope.  So boxes arrive.  That’s okay.  I appreciate a well-packed art object.

In my efforts to not create yet another google form, and more database management work for myself, and to keep things simple, I didn’t ask artists for statements.  But whew, I wish I did!  Some cards come in and I want to know more.

Some artists provide their contact info. and social handles when they send in their cards, and some don’t.  So I have no way of contacting everyone, except by postal mail.  (Using a very sophisticated organization system, I have a stack of everyone’s envelopes with their addresses on them.)

On funding – this project – which is really fun, by the way – I love seeing what people make and artists regularly thank me for the assignment – this project doesn’t fit into the usual grants-for-artists categories.  It’s more of a curatorial project.  There are grants to support putting on a show or printing a catalog of your own work, but not that of others.  If anyone has a clever idea for funding, please let me know!  I’m committed to not charging artists, beyond postage.

While I can certainly sustain this project self-funded, there’s something painfully ironic about doing a public participation art project on the subject of unpaid labor, in which nobody gets paid!

How to Participate in Clocking in for Unpaid Labor

You too are invited to express yourself on the topic of unpaid labor!

Send me a SASE, I send you a free time card, you make art on it, or write a poem or a tale, and send it back.  I get public display opportunities for the time cards.You can see more cards at the blog in a recent post.

This is an on-going project! Get a free time card by mailing a business size SASE to me at PO Box 5292, River Forest, IL 60305

Call for art post is here:

For Organizations: How to Host a Display or Workshop for Clocking in for Unpaid Labor

Just ask!  The time cards can be displayed on the wall, using Command Strips, or in a glass case, standing upright on little stands that we’ll be making.

I’m available, as are two additional teaching artists, to teach a workshop where folks get to make a time card.  Here’s the description for that workshop:

Be a part of the Clocking in for Unpaid Labor Public Participation Art Project.  In this hands-on workshop, you’ll reflect on the unpaid labor you perform in your life, this could be care work, and it could also be things like work required on the job when you’re not clocked in.  We’ll reflect and do some short quick writes before diving in with the collage materials and glue (materials will be provided, and bring your favorites if you have some) to make our own time cards.  You might bring along things from home, from the bottom of your purse, from your glove box, that symbolize your unpaid labor.
If you wish, allow the teacher to photograph your time card so it can be part of the online presentation of the time card project.  The time cards are also a traveling exhibition that moves from place to place, you are invited to lend your card to be a part of that, but it is not required.
Please use the Contact Us form to request a workshop and/or display at your organization.  We’re happy to work with libraries, historical societies, art galleries, any place we can share the art with the public!
These workshops and displays are great to tie in with Labor Day, May Day, Equal Pay Day, or Mother’s Day.  (Or anytime, unpaid labor is always relevant.)