Seasonal Associate By Heike Geissler
Ada O'Higgins & Semiotext(e)
Seashell’s fed up with kids just talking about Soundcloud rappers and wants to share something serious, in this case reading aloud from Seasonal Associate, a memoir by Heike Geissler, translated from the German by Katy Derbyshire. Here, Seashell’s prolonged labor of reading gestures at the unsustainably sustained labor of Amazon fulfillment center employees who are treated like human robots engaged in long, repetitive tasks and faced with constant dehumanization, as revealed by Geissler.
The simple Buy now with a 1-Click button has behind it an onslaught of exhausting humiliations. Two-day shipping, after all, doesn’t happen by itself. At least during Seashell’s sustained act of reading she can sit down, eat a cookie, and spend time with a friend who drifts off in her lap as her voice, having found itself in the route of the language and tired itself out by going and going, becomes increasingly languorous, a gentler kind of human-roboticism. But, really, what kind of bedtime story is this? Perhaps it’s one of capitalism’s twilight.