ENERGY SLAVE TOKENS [HUMAN LABOR TO FOSSIL FUEL CONVERSION UNITS]
In 1940, R. Buckminster Fuller introduced the term “energy slave” to describe the
energy required to power the modern lifestyle. The concept “energy slave” refers to
the technological or mechanical energy equivalent to the physical working capacity
of a human adult. The energy requirements for any lifestyle can be calculated as a
number of “energy slaves” equivalent to the number of human labourers which
otherwise would be needed to produce the same amount of energy. In 2013, it has been
estimated that the average European employs the equivalent of 400-500 “energy
slaves” 24 hours a day.
The Energy Slave Tokens consists of a series of weights made of bitumen, which are
the energy equivalents to specific quantities of physical human labour time (ie. 1 hour,
1 day, 1 week, 1 month, 1 year, 1 life). This series of weights is designed to present the
orders of magnitude that separate the labor power generated by our human bodies
from the energy exploited mostly from fossil fuels which powers the technosphere.
These open source tokens are designed to be easily replicated, used and distributed
Introduction (4'13") Part of Post Growth Prototypes - Video essay by DISNOVATION.ORG and Baruch Gottlieb, 2021
ENERGY SLAVE TOKENS (EXHIBITION)
ENERGY SLAVE TOKENS (CONTEXT)
In 1940, Buckminster Fuller was the first to use the term "energy slave" in a map in Fortune.
[Ref_1] Richard Buckminster Fuller (Feb. 1940). World Energy. Fortune. [Ref_2] Jean-Marc Jancovici (Aug. 2005). How Much of a Slave Master Am I? Manicore.
Exhibition "Post-Growth" at 3bis F, Aix-en-Provence, 2020 [FR]
Exhibition "Post-Growth" at iMAL, Brussels, 2020 [BE]