Does a person feel happier working or not working? Does work provide the solution for our collective happiness? Or rather does laziness?


These are some of the core questions of A manual on work and happiness, an international collaborative project whose final result will be a text conceived as a manual explaining step by step how to construct a performance which, in turn, illustrate how to possibly achieve happiness through working. This show can be set up in any part of the world, simply by following the instructions guidelines, just like a DIY manual.

Changing the world won’t be an easy task.
The project will be launched during Pergine Spettacolo Aperto Performing Arts Festival with the International Seminar on Work and Happiness, on the 14th and 15th July 2017, where experts will be invited to present their research and the audience will be able to participate in the discussion as well as exchange opinions and perspectives on the topics: happiness, work, laziness, creativity.



What is happiness?

What do we really need in order to be happy? Is professional self-realization part of the equation, or has somebody convinced us of it in order to get us to work in the first place? Would we be happy without doing nothing, as it is said to happen in Paradise, or would that eventually end up being boring? Or is it that the social balance is made of people that are happy working, and people who are happy cultivating laziness? Is there a scientific explanation for the state we associate with “being happy”? Is that a chemical formula? Which stimuli make our brains tell us that we are happy?


Are we working too much?

When we invented machines and began working in factories, we began to follow strict work schedules, had more repetitive tasks, became more eager to be productive. If, already by then, William Morris was advising towards the difference between working to live and living to work, the consumption instigated by the most recent neo-liberal machinery only made things worse. We are very probably working more than we need to. Is it so?


How are the differences between men’s work and women’s work?

Women have entered the work market progressively, and have approached equal rights, which, although ideologically elementary, still encounter obstacles even in the most unsuspicious cultural contexts. Where do we stand now? Which are the more contemporary manifestations of feminism in the world of work?


What is the future of work?

In the sixties, one believed that in the year 2000 robots would be doing all the work for us, but clearly these were optimistic people. Nor have computers reduced our work schedule, nor Bimbi really make our dinner without us worrying about it. In spite of that, robotization moves forward, and it’s time for us to look into the future in a way less candid than our predecessors. Is our work really ever going to be replaced by machines? Should we finally accept – and wish – laziness as life of the future?


What can we learn from the artists’ way of working?

Paradoxically, at the same time that artists struggle to survive from their artistic production, their way of working was used as a reference point for the evolution of the post-Fordist economy. The artist’s creativity seems to be unworthy of money, but one makes money imitating their creativity when we have to reinvent ourselves permanently, to be challenge- and change-ready, to create new opportunities each second…. in the end, to work more. Can we still learn from the artists? And what does their work say about our work in general? Do their artworks reflect themselves about work?
Work and laziness can be debated, but there is something peculiar about this: workers should actually work rather than chatting, and the lazy ones should refrain from any task, not spending their energy on conversations. The International Seminar on Work and Happiness wants to investigate this paradox, giving the workers an opportunity to relax and the lazy ones the opportunity to rethink productivity.

We are inviting European artists to design two kind of ‘training’ activities: workshops and lazyshops, which will respectively examine, through an artistic approach, the meanings and practices of work and non-work.
This call for workshop / call for lazyshop is an opportunity for artists, cultural practitioners and researchers from any artistic field, to conceive and design training or research activities or test new creative methodologies in relation to the topics.



Click here to read the regulations and submit your project below before the 22nd of April 2017.


The International Seminar is curated by José Capela (mala voadora) and Carla Esperanza Tommasini (Pergine Spettacolo Aperto).

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