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Saemundur Thor Helgason in conversation with Amy Downes

This conversation was conducted in relation to Fellowship of CitizensSaemundur Thor Helgason’s solo exhibition at arebyte Gallery in 2018, and the book It’s Basic Income, co-edited by Amy Downes.

Saemundur and Amy discussed the feasibility of a Universal Basic Income on a large scale, summarise examples of case studies and successes of basic income, in a non-art context, as well as how Scandinavia has supported the concept of UBI.


They also spoke about the issue of unpaid work, in the context of “essential” work or unpaid artistic labour. For Amy, this is more global and linked to “home based” unpaid labour and the debate around UBI enabling a ‘capacity to consume’. And discussed ownership rights in the sense of a move away from ownership of land, property or things, and towards an ownership of our freedom to produce in the expanding advancement of automated technological workforces.

…by arebyte showcases material created by the arebyte team and educational partners, relating to our physical shows in the gallery, as well as previous screen based works by alumni artists. For this strand of AOS arebyte will curate and create content in relation with the physical shows taking place in the gallery space, as well as feature arebyte’s alumni work commissioned by the gallery since 2013. This visual material will allow arebyte to expand on the theme addressed by its physical exhibitions and will be a place for art audiences to further explore, interact and engage with the arebyte programme.

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