Human Resources for Humans

Human Resource for Humans, a performance/installation by Golboo Amani and Maggie Flynn took place throughout the duration of the 2014 Encuentro conference and festival in Montreal, Canada. This work involves the participation of the general public, conference attendees and organizers to generate a collection of anecdotal evidence about power dynamics in the workplace. Human Resources for Humans provides a platform for workers from any field to enter into a broad dialogue around topics of value, labour, payment, exploitation, unemployment, and class. The work took place at the FOFA Gallery courtyard, providing access to both Encuentro attendees specifically as well as a broader public audience.

The project takes on the ready-made form of a Human Resources Department. The field of human resources management was initially developed as a tool for the administration of human capital and their talents, otherwise known as “the workforce.” Invested in empowering workers and undermining standard employment structures, Human Resources for Humans collects demographic data, processes complaints, asks polling questions, and addresses other evidence provided by various participating labourers. By mimicking the bureaucratic structures of Human Resources Management, we intend to  highlight the contradictions embedded within this field.  Unlike a typical HR Department, HRH is an open framework allowing audience participation to shape and adapt the project to fit the specific needs and concerns of participants, encouraging a flow of information and feedback. The HRH is not an entity which claims actual representation of a specific workforce. Rather, the HRH plays the role of creating manifestations of anecdotal evidence, in order to develop accountable  discussions about issues of labour. 

Photographs by Laura Bluher