Immersive Busy Works, 2018

I was co-lead on Busy Works, a job placement agency, created for an immersive art festival themed like a theoretical post-scarcity, post-work utopian society. In this utopia, work has been automated so actual employment is a sought-after commodity, to be assigned in egalitarian fashion for 20 minutes at a time.

We built a waiting room, had intake counselors make job placements, and provided costumes and job training. The result was both comedy and education. Our ulterior motive was to teach attendees how to make participatory improv art, as well as comment on employment, leisure, and social value. As the utopia became troubled, then swung back toward the light, Busy Works also changed. Staff displayed inter-office strife and power struggles, we issued dark and cynical jobs, and finally we emerged in a kinder, more socialist place. By the end of the weekend, we gave their jobs away and let job seekers run the agency.

Photo: Trevor Tarin