‘We’re looking for someone who wants to be right there. Where the roads meet. Where they cross. Right at the crossroads. We’re looking for someone who wants to be there. Right there. You don’t hesitate. Thanks! Thanks for not hesitating! Thanks for daring! Thank you!’
Now, read that again knowing that that’s the job description for a role at a train station expected to open in Gothenburg, Sweden in 2026. The job, you may have guessed, isn’t like any other out there, though.
The position, ‘eternal employment,’ is the brainchild of Stockholm-based artists Jakob Senneby and Simon Goldin, an art duo that go by the name of Goldin+Senneby. Eternal employment is exactly what it sounds like, as well. With funding from the Public Art Agency Sweden, one lucky Swede will be employed indefinitely, until they resign or retire. The responsibilities? Report to the Korsvägen (‘Crossroads’) Station each morning to clock in and report back at the end of their working day to clock out. The time clock used by the employee is connected to a series of fluorescent lights over the station’s platform called ‘Working Lights.’ When the employee clocks in, the lights will come on; when they clock out, the lights go off. The employee is not required to stay at the station during the duration of their day and they won’t have any other responsibilities. They are free to leave the station and do what they please, the only stipulation is that they may not hold another position at the same time.
The position will be handled like a public sector employee and correspond to their pay, working hours, holiday time, notice period, and even pension. Those considered for the position will be compensated according to their experience and age and their contract is negotiable. The eternal employment holder’s payment will begin at 21,600 kronor ($2,295) per month and will be subject to a 3.2% increase each year for at least 120 years. The position will be run and overseen by the Eternal Employment Foundation. The foundation is also ‘responsible for collecting and making accessible secondary mediation, such as news stories, reportages, rumors, jokes and urban legends that the project generates over time.’
The purpose of the position is to highlight the fact that, as the artwork’s plan states, money pays better than work. It will, hopefully, shed light on the fact that jobs have moved away from traditional, contractual means but the way we handle employment hasn’t. Using Thomas Piketty’s thesis, the artwork will end once the money invested in the foundation stops making money because, naturally, at that point work will ideally pay better than money.
‘Everybody likes Gothenburg. Do we like Korsvägen? Hard question. Help us. Apply for the position. Unusual. We know. But it’s a job, an entirely ordinary job. Well, maybe not entirely ordinary. It’s free. A free assignment. We think you’re free. We think it sounds like that. You sound free. You look free. Alert. Friendly. Open. We can’t take it anymore. Apply. Take over. Thank you,’ continues the application form.
So, think you’ve got what it takes? Maybe one day the world will be saying that you work ‘as though you were at Korsvägen’