“Apply Within”

“Apply Within” audio installation, mixed media, 12’x 20’x 12’, 1980.


“Apply Within” is an audio installation that examines the challenges of looking for work in late Capitalist society. Visitors are presented with a satirical employment agency, but many did not recognize the satire and came with their resumes in hand. When someone arrives, they are invited to sit down, and the audio loop automatically switches on. Voices ask the “applicant” absurd questions, and s/he responds in a mechanical way. Another voice discusses the difficulty of finding satisfying and valuable work in our society and the inadequacy of the educational system. Those who came to the piece actually looking for work were moved to laugh and engage in dialog with the artist. They expressed that they felt less isolated after hearing the eight minute tape. Exhibition: the Franklin Furnace in New York City (1980). Discussed in ArtForum by Lucy Lippard and in The Reenchantment of Art by Suzi Gablik.