Silvio Lorusso

Silvio Lorusso’s work focuses on the cultures and rhetorical regimes embedded in techno-social systems. He deals with the narratives and counternarratives that define platforms, devices and interfaces. By doing so, he engages with the tensions surrounding notions of labour, productivity, autonomy, self-design, entrepreneurialism, precarity and failure. Lorusso’s practice combines various media such as video, website, artist’s book, installation, lecture. This activity is further stimulated by writing essays, curating exhibitions and organizing public programs. In 2018 he published his first book entitled ENTREPRECARIAT: Everyone Is an Entrepreneur. Nobody Is Safe. (Onomatopee, English; Krisis, Italian).

Shouldn’t you be working?

Silvio Lorusso is Affiliated Researcher at the Institute of Network Cultures of Amsterdam, Creative Coding Tutor at the Royal Academy of Art in Den Haag and Tutor at the Design Department of the Sandberg Institute. He is a member of Varia, the Center for Everyday Technology, as well as part of the editorial board of Italian graphic design magazine Progetto Grafico. His work has been presented at, among other venues, MaXXI, Rome; Transmediale, Berlin; The Photographers’ Gallery, London; Kunsthalle Wien; NRW-Forum, Düsseldorf. He holds a Ph.D. in Design Sciences from the School of Doctorate Studies of the Iuav University of Venice. His writing has appeared in several magazines and publications, including Volume, Real Life Magazine, Minima&Moralia, Not, Modes of Criticism, Printed Web 3, Metropolis M, Ludica, Digicult. Since 2013, he manages the Post-Digital Publishing Archive ( He lives in Rotterdam.

“Shouldn’t you be working?” is the text that StayFocusd, a browser plugin with more than 600,000 users, prompts when your allotted time on social media and other procrastination sites is over.

But why keeping lazy-shaming only on screen?

With the Shouldn’t you be working? sticker, work anxiety will always stick around.

“Printed on transparent background, in a no-frills, operational typeface, Shouldn’t You Be Working? (2016) is a series of stickers to be placed in any leisurely or semi-leisurely environment – from a laptop to a toilet – to act as a perpetual memento of the laboral duties ahead. Named after the text that StayFocusd, a browser plugin with more than 600,000 users, prompts when your allotted time on social media and other procrastination-friendly sites is over, SYBW allows any surface to remind remote workers that they are still tethered to the machine. Of course, though, the line between sarcasm and practical advice is thin here: will you laugh it off or be triggered back into productive mode?” – Nicola Bozzi

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