Do you daydream of a future career in nothing specific, not-really-sure and one-day-I'll-figure-it-out? Do these fantasies also include the clean lines and polished surfaces of a modern Swedish train station? If so, a new art project may just allow you to punch that ticket — for life.
Called the Eternal Employment project, the world's most bizarre job opening comes courtesy of Swedish artists Simon Goldin and Jakob Senneby. Under the terms of the employment agreement, the lucky hire's only requirement is to punch a clock at the beginning and end of each workday at the soon-to-be-built underground Korsvägen train station in Gothenburg, Sweden.
"The time clock is connected to the lights above the platform, turning on a stronger fluorescent light – 'working light' – whenever the employee is at work," they explain.
As for what "at work" actually means, the artists are leaving that part entirely up to the participant. Interested in binge-watching the entirety of "The West Wing" on Netflix? Go for it. Love knitting but never had time to make more than socks? Get ready to knock out your own fashion line. Enjoy sleeping? It's bring-your-pillow-to-work day whenever you damn well please. Even better, you're not obligated to stay at the station all day.
In return, the Eternal Employment Foundation will pay its single worker a monthly salary of about $2,320, as well as vacation time, pension for retirement and annual wage increases. Unless the person decides to quit or retire, the job is theirs to enjoy until they shuffle off this mortal coil. After that, the foundation will recruit another to take their place.
"The endless duration of this employment is feasible because money pays better than work," they write. "As long as we live in a society where the return on capital is substantially higher than the average increase in wages, Eternal Employment is kept afloat."
The ultimate anti-performance
A concept illustration from the Eternal Employment brochure. (Photo: Eternal Employment)
So who is funding this radical employment opportunity? Back in 2017, Goldin and Senneby pitched their Eternal Employment idea as part of an international competition from Public Art Agency Sweden and the Swedish Transport Administration to solicit artistic designs for the new train station. The artistic duo ended up winning, with the $750,000 prize money serving as an initial investment for their "anti-performance of indefinite duration. A single person with no script, no climax, no crescendo. Forever."
By "forever," the artists intend the project to fund itself through returns on market investments for at least 120 years. The fact this is even possible, they argue, shows how the artwork is a reflection of the world's growing inequality.
"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," they add.
The job may sound inviting for anyone who wishes they could be doing absolutely anything other than their present career, it could be beyond boring for those unaccustomed to the sheer amount of free time. Regardless, you still have some time to make up your mind. The Eternal Employment foundation will not begin accepting applications until March 2025.