The Airbus Ashtray: an event of daylighting anecdotes

That Might Be Right supports The Airbus Ashtray: an event of daylighting anecdotes by Piero Bisello and published by Surfaces Utiles.

Daylighting is a concept derived from moonlighting, which refers to a second job taken in addition to one’s regular employment. Think of a lawyer who bartends at night for some extra buck. Daylighting is instead the subversive appropriation of one’s regular job: a worker makes use of tools and time from his or her employer for his or her own benefit. Think of a programmer who uses a company’s powerful computer during working time to build her own website.

Sociologist Michel Anteby calls daylighting “homer” after the use of the same word by philosopher and former factory worker Miklos Haraszti. Anteby says homers are often tolerated by employers, despite looking like theft or even absenteeism. Homers are in the grey zone. Daylighting generates artifacts of various kinds: ashtrays made of airplane parts by workers in the Airbus factory; love poems written with company licensed Microsoft Word by clerks at ING; one’s own birthday cake baked in the industrial oven at the Carrefour production line.

Daylighting is a very unexplicit form of resistance. To the injustice of capitalist accumulation and disproportionate amounts of private property in one’s hands, daylighting seeks redress through guile on a small scale. The symbolic significance of daylighting compensates for its material innocence. Back in the 19th century Marx sought justification for the picking up of fallen wood in private lands by the dispossessed. Far in ambition but close in vocation, daylight stems from similar preoccupations.

A version of The Airbus Ashtray will be presented at Le Sceptre on 31.5.2021

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