What is Being WorthWhat is Being Worth?

Travis T Freeman

A student worker is paid for her time during the project, What Is Being Worth? Her job is to attempt to do nothing for her four-hour shift.


I continue to be skeptical of the notion that I am defined by what I do, that my worth is set by my production. I have a suspicion that there is value in human life, plain and simple. Reading philosophers such as Heidegger, Nancy, and Derrida, the question arises: what is the meaning of being? Participation in meditation and yoga becomes a practice in being. In day to day life, these questions and practices become blurry, and seemingly irrelevant. However, even in day to day wakeful life, I experience a connection to other living things. This connection seems to come from a place unaffected by my thoughts or actions. This connection seems to exist simply by way of my existence. And this all leaves me wondering: Of what is this connection made? Is the meaning of being the meaning of life? What separates our presence from our essence? Who or what am I? What happens when we stop talking, acting, or producing? I think these questions deserve experimentation. As such, I propose we do nothing. I believe that this is so important that I would like to pay you to do nothing.

Work Study opportunity:

8 hours per week. Doing nothing.

Spend 4 hours shifts sitting, standing or lying, or alternating between the three.
Make eye contact with visitors
Do nothing else (as far as is possible).