28-page printed booklet utilising a database of over 150 images gathered from internet searches of heads of state and government from around the world, past and present. The images show these prominent figures enjoying their leisure time: on holiday, pursuing sporting or creative pastimes, or simply sitting back, taking a breather, putting their feet up. Each image was converted to greyscale (for both uniformity and ease of reproduction) then cropped to the same dimensions and to deliberately exclude the protagonist’s face. These were combined with responses from members of the public via the Yahoo! Answers website to questions such as, “What is the best way to unwind after a stressful day’s work?” Basic edits to correct grammar, punctuation and spelling were made but otherwise the texts remain as in the original answers.
The booklet was mail-merged so that the images and text appear in different permutations in each edition. These were given out at an informal and very laid-back launch in a pub, on a Sunday, but please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like a copy.
Imagine a world in which work is no longer the most valued of activities; a world where pleasurable, worthwhile and interesting recreation is freely pursued by all. In Work Less, Be Happy you will uncover the key to joyfulness by abandoning the supreme virtue of hard work.
By adopting a four hour working day, the ordinary wage-earner could redistribute the burden of their own labour, whilst providing employment for someone without. With sensible organisation, this would bring an end to unemployment whilst increasing the leisure time of all workers.
In addition to this, the four hour day can:
End overproduction of unnecessary goods which often go unused.
Allow us to divert energy previously wasted on work into enjoying more active pursuits. Instead of limiting ourselves to passive activities such as watching films or television, we could also find time and energy to play sports, read novels or partake in amateur dramatics. This would have a positive effect on both our health and happiness.
Provide more time for education, for us to expand our knowledge of specific fields free from the constraints of compulsory toil.
Give all of those with a scientific, artistic or literary curiosity the independence to indulge in it, without having to tailor their ideas to appease others in the name of economic concerns.
Teach us to value enjoyment and simple happiness, allowing us to judge production by the pleasure that it affords the consumer.
Education is essential in teaching us the wise use of leisure. In Tom Durley’s follow-up book More Useless Knowledge you can read about how to enjoy productive, interesting and contented leisure time.
Performance at Hanbury Hall, Spitalfields, London on Friday 11 May 2012 to launch a book of 30 best man's speeches transcribed from YouTube. All proceeds from sales of the book were donated to Refuge. (Flyer)
Exhibition with Freddy Dewe Mathews at The Empire, Vyner St, London in March 2011. Work made in response to the news story of a Zimbabwean woman who duped government officials into believing she could induce diesel fuel from a rock.
Comprising of three linked pieces The diesel Zimbabwe Mugabe of a in new to from for n'anga rock fuel jail mystic on is and oil (2011) used a database to catalogue every search result reporting on or relating to the story, from which the headlines and article were produced and exhibited alongside Freddy Dewe Mathews' work and The Witch Doctor video projection (Flyer 1 / 2 / 3)
Series of PowerPoint presentations on a
miscellany of disparate topics, including Cosmic Latte and Vertical Farming.
CD-Rs each containing one randomly selected presentation were then sold as a 'lucky dip' as part of the Field Work shop and exhibition on Hanbury Street, London in 2009.
Audio guide to the BA Critical Fine Art Practice exhibition Graduation Show at the University of Brighton in June 2007. Presented as an audio guide similar to those often deployed at museums, historical sites and art galleries, but with rather different directions and interpretations to what you might ordinarily expect. Listen here. Further documentation here.