los-angeles

Allan Sekula, Sugar Gang 1–6, 2010, six C-prints, each 31 1/2 × 31 1/2".

Allan Sekula

Christopher Grimes Gallery

Allan Sekula, Sugar Gang 1–6, 2010, six C-prints, each 31 1/2 × 31 1/2".

Measured in anxious days and weeks, the slow pace of shipping once served as a reminder that commodities, although seemingly self-generated, are nevertheless the products of labor, including that of transportation. However, with the advent of containerization, dockside automation, and networked logistics, the figure of the transportation worker is increasingly supplanted by an algorithm—or worse, by a drone. While these innovations have driven down the cost of shipping, they have also made supply chains more vulnerable to interruption: It was no fluke, for example, that Occupy Oakland demonstrators, when evicted from their encampment by riot police, retaliated by blockading the Port of Oakland beside rank-and-file dockworkers, proclaiming the action the equivalent of a general strike.

This intersection of anticapitalist tactics and thalassic profiteering was prefigured by

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