Imagine: For the rest of your life, you are assigned no tasks at work. You can watch movies, read books, work on creative projects or just sleep. The only thing you have to do is clock in and out every day. The position is permanent so you won’t ever have to worry about getting another job. You can just sit there and relax.
Would you take it?
Starting in 2026 this will become a reality for one lucky (or very bored) worker. All thanks to a government-funded conceptual art project called ‘Eternal Employment’ in Gothenburg, Sweden. The employee will need to “check-in and check-out at the Korsvägen Station at the beginning and end of each working day.”
“The position holds no duties or responsibilities, other than that it should be carried out at Korsvägen.” The job description states. “Whatever the employee chooses to do constitutes the work.”
The art project “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.”
The non-productive is, of course, a central trope of art. Some would argue that the use of art is precisely its uselessness. In the face of mass automation and artificial intelligence, the impending threat/promise is that we will all become productively superfluous.” their proposal said. “We will all be ‘employed at Korsvägen’, as it were.”
You could foresee that eventually all productive work will be taken over by robots. Our technologies keep progressing which suggests that robots could take over a lot of work from us. But nothing more than the opposite is the case. There would be an enormous amount of new leisure time for society, right? History tells us a different story. For every job that has disappeared, others came back.