A new job is to be made available in Gothenburg, Sweden, which will see one person paid to do nothing.
When we say nothing, we really mean nothing… if that’s what you want it to be. As part of a conceptual art project, Swedish artists Simon Goldin and Jakob Senneby have revealed plans to hire what they’re describing as an “eternal employee”.
If selected for the role, you would get be paid $2,320 a month and given the same benefits as the average Swedish public sector employee which, of course, includes an annual salary increase, vacations and a state pension. On top of that, you’ll be allowed to keep the job for life—if you want it. If for whatever reason you decide to quit, you would be replaced by another person.
The only stipulations would be that the hired ‘eternal employee’ would need to clock in first thing in the morning at their chosen office of Korsvägen train station and return in the evening to turn off the lights. Apart from that, you’re able to leave the workplace, take a second job, go home, sleep, hit the cinema… anything.
“The position holds no duties or responsibilities, other than that it should be carried out at Korsvägen,” the job description claims. “Whatever the employee chooses to do constitutes the work.”
“Should the money run out after 25, 50, or 100 years, that would imply a historical shift in the relation between return on capital and wages. A sustained period in which work pays better than money,” the description adds.
The move comes after the Public Art Agency Sweden decided to produce a collaboration with the Swedish Transport Administration in 2017. The plan was to invite artists to “influence the design” of three new stations in Gothenburg’s West Link district. Subsequently, Goldin and Senneby’s proposal to employ someone to “suffer from severe ‘boreout’ (stress caused by understimulation), [invent] his/her own projects or creative ventures, or [simply] embrace a state of perpetual leisure” was chosen by the committee.
In their proposal, the artists wrote: “Eternal Employment not only offers a different understanding of work and the worker, but questions the very notions of growth, productivity and progress which are at the core of modernity.
“In the face of mass automation and artificial intelligence, the impending threat/promise is that we will all become productively superfluous. We will all be ’employed at Korsvägen,’ as it were,” they added.
A successful candidate will be appointed into their dream role in 2025.