Searching for a Job? – is a participatory art piece that’s searching for employees to do the work they would like to do.

Finnish art project Searching for a Job? turns employment into art

Etsitkö töitä?

Searching for a Job? is a participatory art project that combines experimental architecture, social sculpture and documentary filmmaking and came out in a form of multichannel video installation, book, exhibition and workshops. The project spreads into urban and media spaces, film, museum and literature, turning employment into art and contemplating the possibilities of art and work in the era of post-fossil reconstruction. It is art participating in rethinking of society.

Photos: Visa Knuuttila

Searching for a Job? is a study on work, time and community by Helsinki-based documentary filmmaker Juhani Haukka and theatre director – rock musician Lauri Antti Mattila. They started the project in the spring of 2020 by offering two-month grant periods for people to do exactly the job they want. The project radically questions the concept of work, by severing it from the prevailing profit based logic of market economy and exploring the idea of work as a practise of positioning oneself in relations with the world and the idea of livelihood/income detached from capital.

The application process opened online in February 2020. By completing the questionnaire, the applicant participated in a raffle that allowed eight people to work for 1-2 months, doing the job proposed by them or planned in collaboration.

Searching for a Job? created a space for extraordinary deeds: the ones that are quiet, were abandoned, lost in a hurry, dreamed of, did not get done. Ones that need to be done. Or that do not exist yet. That could be dreamed and realized into this world. A good deed. Work that perhaps has not been possible to carry out, or that has seemed too crazy, too wild, too ordinary, non-profitable or vague. That might in the end turn out to be of utmost importance, or that could open a possibility for the most important, in surprising ways.

The project spreded worldwide, while other working in Finland, the farthest work was carried out in Brazil. Age of the workers ranged from a schoolchild to a pensioner.

Jobs were documented and the material was transformed into a multichannel documentary video installation, audio works, 500 page encyclopedic book (Poesia 2021) and a series of workshops which take place and are on display for the first time in Searching for a Job -exhibition at the Finnish Labour Museum Werstas from 24.9.2021 to 3.4.2022.

Working group
Juhani Haukka, Iines Korhonen, Visa Knuuttila, Lauri Antti Mattila, Sari Paljakka, Menni Renvall, Oula Rytkönen and Pilvi Tyrväinen


Finnish Labour Museum Werstas, Live Art Society/Esitystaiteen seura, Theatre Circus Maximus and Poesia

The project is funded by the Kone Foundation, the Alfred Kordelin Foundation and the Arts Promotion Centre Finland.

Photos on this site can be freely used in articles about Searching for a Job -project. Photographer’s name must be mentioned.