18 Oktober 2021
  • Lecture

Ego-Strokers and CV Machine. Socio-emotional Machines as Translation Devices

Käthe Wenzel, CV Machine im Einsatz (mit Hand, 2019)


»I am sorry to leave early, I have to be in another meeting.« If you have ever made such a claim while actually needing to look after your family, to eat or just to breathe – then Doc Wenzel’s CV Machine is the right tool for you! It’s a two-way translation device for contemporary work environments.

CV Machine is an art project about language and labour. It provides careful re-phrasing for periods of non-work, helping to fill those »CV gaps« we are all taught to avoid: »Spent a year calming down, smoking dope«, for example, translates into »researching local subcultures/field study«. CV Machine is an automated service device that provides not a cloak of invisibility, but a cloak of productivity necessary for thriving in the neoliberal economy. The aim is to hack into an existing language/culture of self-optimization, self-help websites, and guidebooks, which comprise an entire market aimed at the perfection of »professional performance«. Wenzel’s tool offers help with people’s day-to-day navigation of the neo-liberal contradictions between CV and reality, between self-care, and exploitation and between promise and privilege. In attempting to reconcile different (irreconcilable) cultures and realities, CV Machine is the most recent project in Wenzel’s series of socio-emotional service devices. They are intended as prostheses for the contemporary work market – and are invariably bound to fail.


Since 2016, Käthe Wenzel is Professor for Aesthetic Practice at European University Flensburg. She received numerous grants issued by Fulbright Foundation, Stiftung Kulturfonds, and Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung among others. Her works are included in international collections. Wenzel studied in Marburg, Florence, and Berlin. Her Ph.D. is titled »Meat as a Material in Art« (2003). She is currently IFK_Senior Fellow.




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Weitere Informationen zu Käthe Wenzel

Ort: IFK; IFK@Zoom