Workshop with Laurel Ptak
Wages For Facebook

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The event is FREE and open to the public.


Wages For Facebook, 2014. Poster design by Eric Nylund and Laurel Ptak.

Is what we do on Facebook work? How would we calculate our value? What could an alternate form of social media, based on an idea of the commons or a feminist praxis, look like?

Artist Laurel Ptak will lead a workshop on the Wages For Facebook campaign, discuss the results of the student-based poll recently conducted at UTM and explore the potential for future organizing strategies around digital labour.

Please check back for updates

The event is FREE and open to the public.
Please rsvp to by Tuesday, October 28 at 12noon. 

Project Statement

Wages For Facebook draws on the 1970s feminist campaign Wages For Housework to think through the relationships of capitalism, class, and affective labour at stake within social media today. Wages For Housework demanded that the state pay women for their unwaged housework and care-giving, as the market economy was built upon massive amounts of this unacknowledged work—and its labourers could be seen to constitute a huge working class. Wages For Housework built upon anticolonial discourse to extend the analysis of unwaged labour from the factory to the home. Along these lines, Wages For Facebook attempts to extend the discussion of unwaged labour to new forms of value creation and exploitation online. The launch of a manifesto website,, in January 2014 clearly hit a collective nerve. Since then the project has been debated widely via social media, at universities, and in the press, setting off a crucial public conversation about workers’ rights and the very nature of labour, as well as the politics of its refusal, in our digital age.


The Wages For Facebook campaign at UTM was officially launched on September 8th as the 2014 Blackwood Gallery Billboard Commission. Click here for more information.

Artist Biography

Laurel Ptak works across curatorial, artistic, and pedagogical boundaries to address the social and political contours of art and technology. Together with artist Marysia Lewandowska, she is co-editor of the book Undoing Property (Sternberg Press, 2013) which explores artistic practices in relationship to immaterial production, political economy, and the commons. Recent collaborative projects include: To Have and To Owe (2012) an exhibition and event series created with numerous artists, theorists, and activists exploring debt’s aesthetic and affective dimensions; What Do We Do Now? (2013) an alternative economies fair featuring discussion around and direct access to practices of mutual aid and cooperation for artists and artworkers; and Wages For Facebook (2014). Ptak teaches in the department of Art, Media and Technology at Parsons, The New School in New York City. In 2014 she was appointed Executive Director of Triangle Arts Association in Brooklyn, a more than 30-year-old artist residency program within an international network of arts organizations around the world. She is currently at work transforming it into a revitalized institution that actively rethinks the site and conditions of artistic production and wonders what an artist residency can be in the year 2014.

The Poll

Are you a Facebook user? Why or why not?

What do you mostly use it for?

How often do you update Facebook?

How does social media affect your interactions with other people?

Does social media feel like work to you?

Do you care that Facebook is making money off of your newsfeed?

Would being compensated for using social media change how and why you use it?

What type of Facebook work could logically be compensated?

What kind of governing body could represent workers of Facebook?

Are you interested in participating in the Wages For Facebook campaign? Why or why not?


This poll is now CLOSED and the results will be revealed at the Workshop. This poll was conducted by students of the University of Toronto Mississauga, from October 6th to October 20th, 2014.


Generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council.