Mike Rottenberg's video installations and works in other media depict quirky scenarios of production in which women in constrained factory spaces use stationary bikes, bodily fluids, and simple tools to fabricate products ranging from scented towelettes to fake maraschino cherries. This essay considers how Rottenberg's stagings of industrial production lines engage with post-Fordist phenomena such as deindustrialization and affective labor. In works such as Time and a Half, Mary's Cherries, Tropical Breeze, and Dough, Rottenberg conveys the incongruity between industrial production and the exploitation of bodily secretions such as tears, sweat, and fingernails. Drawing on the writings of Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, I argue that Rottenberg's works meditate on how women's bodies are reshaped and rendered productive by the shift from industrial production to “biopolitical production.”

The text of this article is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.