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Gig De Pio & the beauty of chaos in abstraction



Gig De Pio & the beauty of chaos in abstraction

Igan D’Bayan (The Philippine Star) – February 3, 2020 – 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — We are in the Home section of Rustan’s Department Store and artist Gig De Pio is talking about entropy.

The paintings on view in his “Flourishing” exhibition (which is part of Rustan’s For The Arts initiative) are the result of what the artist describes as finding beauty in the “gestalt of chaos.” De Pio says the works are about entropy and the gradual decline into disorder — “everything will end, all systems will die.” But the artist imagines the profound moment of creation.

“When God the Father said ‘Let there be light!” — that’s the Big Bang right there. But from creation, there is also the start of death.” And De Pio has been obsessed with the Second Law of Thermodynamics ever since he took up Physics 101 at the University of the Philippines (UP) long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away. He characterizes the experience as “mind-blowing.”

The artist shares, “Kaya natigil sina Marcel Duchamp kasi dulo na ‘yun. Sina John Cage and Jean Arp and their Law of Chance. I still love doing portraits, but these abstracts are different. It’s big talk, yes, but it’s the truth. My abstract paintings are but a small slice.”

Gig De Pio’s style of portraiture is characterized by art critic Cid Reyes as “etherialism,” and he marvels at how De Pio has invested heavy subjects (“Entropy/Gestalt”) into his abstract swirls and swathes.

“Flourishing: A Celebration of Creativity” is on view at Rustan’s Makati until March 31, and will move to Rustan’s Shangri-La in April.

The artist describes his collection as an appreciative view of the universe. “It is a matter of perception and where point of reference is; just a matter of finding gestalt in the random of things and events around the perceiver,” he says. His abstracts on display illustrate the randomness of occurrences and encounters at intersections, which may happen repeatedly to become events.

Among his mentors were National Artist Napoleon Abueva who was his professor for sculpture, National Artist Vicente Manansala whom he assisted for the mural at the Coconut Planters Bank building, and Jose Joya whom he assisted for the mural at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC). De Pio has mounted several successful shows including a solo gig at The Crucible. Several of his latest works were created specifically for the Rustan’s For The Arts.

The series was started four years ago by Zenaida “Nedy” Tantoco, Rustan Group of Companies chairman and CEO, to bring art closer to the people.

“We want to make Filipino art accessible to more Filipinos,” explains Tantoco.   Rustan’s For The Arts has featured the works of National Artists such as Fernando Amorsolo, BenCab and Arturo Luz, as well as celebrated ones such as Anita Magsaysay-Ho, Al Perez and Paulina Luz Sotto. Nedy continues, “The artworks are expensive — especially those of our National Artists and modern masters. But if you put the images on a nice lacquer box, throw pillow or plate, you are giving more people the chance to bring home these iconic images in truly affordable prices. The goal is to give Filipino art a wider audience.”

Marilen Tantoco, Rustan’s VP for merchandising-home division, likes Gig De Pio’s art so much that she herself bought three paintings.

“I love modern and contemporary art — my house is very modern. We chose Gig De Pio (for Rustan’s For The Arts’ first offering for 2020) and we have been pleasantly surprised because he has such a large following.” Both Nedy and Marilen point out the visual synchronicity of Gig’s work with that of Jose Joya’s,

“Marilen likes modern art, while I go for the more traditional,” concludes Nedy. But both ladies laud Gig’s evocative abstracts and the colors of chaos.



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For information on Rustan’s For The Arts and other projects, visit or follow @rustansph on Instagram or Facebook.

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Workers pay price as gig economy avoids regulations, inquiry finds




Despite being commissioned by the Victorian government, Ms James found the federal government was best placed to drive change, given its responsibility for the national system of workplace laws.


She recommended the development of a code of conduct to better protect on-demand workers, the removal of barriers to collective bargaining, and a one-stop-shop support agency to help workers when disputes arise.

If the federal government would not lead, Victoria should work with other states to drive legislative changes to offer greater fairness for platform workers, she said.

While he would not comment specifically on the recommendations, state Industrial Relations Minister Tim Pallas said there was a clear need for laws to be tightened to support gig workers.

“The gig economy is relied upon by millions of consumers and workers across the country, but there are holes when it comes to industrial relations that put workers’ rights to fair pay and conditions at risk,” he said.

Previously, Mr Pallas had indicated the state could act alone to bolster protections for gig economy workers.

On-demand workers are more likely to be young, urban and male. People who speak a language other than English at home are 1.5 times more likely to be platform workers.

An estimated 40 per cent of on-demand workers surveyed as part of the inquiry were not even aware of their rates of pay.

“Platforms have been deliberate in framing their arrangements with workers,” Ms James found.

“This enables platforms to avoid the operation of close and detailed labour regulation while other businesses are carrying the costs of complying with those requirements.”


Those pressures are becoming more acute as the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic tear through every aspect of society, Ms James told The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald.

“What we have is a large number of people in need of income, looking for work in a labour market which has now become even more competitive,” she said.

“So the gig economy has provided invaluable access to work for people, but also under terms and conditions that are not regulated. And so what we have is vulnerable people with very little leverage in the labour market really, with little or no capacity to have a say in what the arrangements are in place in order to access this work.”

Zaheer Qazi spent three years working for Uber and Deliveroo while he completed his degree in Melbourne. During that time he was also the national welfare officer for the Council of International Students Australia.

Mr Qazi said he had been told horror stories about international students working for food delivery sites being attacked but having little recourse to workplace support or compensation.

“People are feeling more fearful with COVID,” he said. “They can’t afford to lose work and these companies know it.”

Zaheer Qazi says "fearful" gig workers "can't afford to lose work and these companies know it".

Zaheer Qazi says “fearful” gig workers “can’t afford to lose work and these companies know it”.Credit:Joe Armao chief executive Matt Barrie said while other platforms limited the amount of pay workers received, his company “liberates workers”.

“The gig economy is not one homogenous industry with a uniform business model,” he said.

“Any legislation must be cognisant of that and should be at the federal level, not the state level.”

Airtasker chief executive Tim Fung said the gig economy comprised a number of different platform types. “The needs of workers on each of these different platforms should be prioritised when considering how best to apply a regulatory framework.”

A Deliveroo spokeswoman declined to comment. The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald also approached Uber for comment but did not receive a response before deadline.

A spokesman for Attorney-General Christian Porter said given Mr Porter had not seen the report, he could not comment on its findings or recommendations.

In January, Mr Porter said: “The evolution of the gig economy also presents challenges which the government is committed to addressing.”

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GIG Car Share Chooses the Ridecell Platform for its Expansion into Seattle | News




SAN FRANCISCO, July 8, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Ridecell Inc., the leading platform provider for shared mobility operators, today announced that GIG Car Share, powered by AAA Northern California, will use the Ridecell High-yield Mobility Platform for its expansion to Seattle. Gig already uses Ridecell for its other operating cities, including Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area. The Ridecell platform enables Gig to operate its fleet efficiently while giving members a frictionless experience, including quick reservation on the Gig app plus keyless entry and Gig free parking locator within the app. Ridecell also keeps track of cars for easy service, cleaning and return, minimizing downtime and maximizing profitability.

Gig Seattle will begin with 250 brand new Toyota Prius XLE hybrid cars that seat five comfortably and provide outstanding fuel efficiency. The Ridecell platform provides Gig with end-to-end automation, instant driver verification, payment processing, on-demand scheduling, and custom analytics. In addition, the platform tracks vehicle locations to ensure safety and speedy service when needed.

“Gig has grown to be the largest* free-floating car sharing service in the country, despite the tough times most transportation services are facing,” said Aarjav Trivedi, CEO of Ridecell. “Gig’s great customer service orientation combined with our platform, has helped the company continue to succeed where other companies have faltered. We’re proud to continue our partnership with them as they enter the Seattle market.”

Ridecell offers the world’s only end-to-end platform for all types of mobility, including car sharing, ridehailing, and short-term vehicle subscriptions. The platform is designed to create high-yield mobility businesses for greater profitability. For more information, visit

About Ridecell

Ridecell helps companies build and operate profitable mobility businesses. With the company’s High-yield Mobility™ SaaS toolkit of intelligent software, business services, and ecosystem partners, Ridecell customers maximize three key profit drivers: customer experience, fleet utilization, and operational efficiency.

Founded in 2009, today, Ridecell powers some of the most successful mobility services in cities across Europe and North America. These services include ZITY from Ferrovial and Groupe Renault, Gig Car Share from AAA Northern California, and Blu Smart EV ride sharing service.

Ridecell is headquartered in San Francisco, California, with more than 170 employees in offices across the globe.

About GIG Car Share
GIG Car Share, a service from AAA Northern California, is the largest free-floating car share in the nation.* In three years, Gig has grown to more than 65,000 members and operates more than 1,000 cars across Northern California (Oakland, Berkeley, San Francisco, Sacramento) and Seattle, Washington. The service launched in 2017 as the first venture from A3Ventures, AAA’s innovation lab based in Berkeley, Calif. Learn more at

*Based on the size of its fleet as of 6/1/2020

Media Contact:
Jane Gideon
Tel: 415-682-9292

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Gig workers say pay decided by algorithm is unfair




Same-day delivery has been a growing part of Target’s business during the pandemic. But Target employees don’t do most of the work picking up merchandise from stores and delivering it to customers’ homes. Instead, it’s mostly handled by gig workers hired through a platform called Shipt.

This week, some of them are protesting its new pay structure. Instead of being paid a set rate per order, an algorithm will weigh how busy a store is, how bad street traffic is and other factors to set the pay for an order.

Algorithms are foundational to how gig platforms like Uber or Instacart do business. Most users are familiar with surge pricing, where prices vary depending on demand. But that’s just part of a complex web of algorithms that affect everything from which jobs a gig worker is offered to how much they get paid for them.

“I really compare it to like the wizard behind the curtain in ‘Wizard of Oz,’” said Carlos Ramos, a ride-hailing driver in San Diego for the past three years. “Stuff is happening back there, and you have no idea what’s going on.”

Ramos has noticed some patterns: When he first logs on, he seems to be offered a lot of shorter, less lucrative rides until he decides to call it a day and head home.

“And then I’ll get a request for a hundred-mile trip in the other direction,” he said. “This has happened time and time again.”

He thinks it’s because of Lyft’s algorithm, but he can’t be sure because companies keep their software secret.

“We have no idea,” said Veena Dubal, a professor at the University of California’s Hastings College of the Law. “Everything that we know about the algorithms is based on what workers tell us they experience.”

Dubal has surveyed hundreds of gig workers to tease out how the algorithms work, and she’s concluded they’re designed to keep workers logged on for as little pay as possible.

“They therefore cannot predict their income on any given day or any given shift,” she said.

These systems cause financial uncertainty that puts workers at a disadvantage, said Kate Crawford, the co-founder of the AI Now Institute at New York University.

“These algorithmic systems are essentially increasing the power asymmetry between workers and employers to quite an extreme degree,” she said.

While each platform has unique algorithms, they all have a common objective, she said: to maximize profits, often at the expense of workers.

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