Office Truisms

Office Truisms was a project (openly a nod to Jenny Holzer’s Truisms, of course) that was originally undertaken for the zine-like publication AMT: an Office Manual, which I put together in the summer of 2017 with Jussi Parikka for the Archaeologies of Media and Technology (AMT) research group at Winchester School of Art. I took these ‘truisms’ from websites giving advice on improving office productivity and repurposed them to expose corporate and neoliberal attitudes to the ‘care’ of employees.

This is my page from the Manual:

Subsequently, I made 10 postcards from selected ‘truisms’. You can see the layouts here.


The postcards are featured as an ‘extra intervention’ in Neural #61, attached to a background image that I designed. You can see it on the Neural website here.

And this from the Archaeologies of Media and Technology website:

‘Dr Jane Birkin’s AMT postcards are featured as a special extra in the most recent issue of Neural magazine. Continuing the AMT postcard series with this third edition, Birkin’s #OfficeTruisms series is made of a set of ten coloured different postcards with statements about ‘office culture’. The pithy phrases, meant as inspirational but gathering a whole different layer of meaning as “found literature” of contemporary work cultures came about through a trawling of websites that give advice on ways to improve the modern office environment. Aimed at managers and small business owners, increased productivity amongst office workers was the promised or implied objective.’