As a response to today’s economic system of self-exploitation, precarious self-management, and overwork, a system also haunted by guilt and depression, we created a compilation of diverse exercises for practicing the pleasures of laziness, radical idleness, non-work und unproductivity. The manual was composed by the members of the (non)work group and invited experts.

List of exercises

How to become lazy on a long-term basis after durational & exhausting work performance with a series of multiple failures and breakdowns

Get a stipend, which does not depend on a regular production, but guarantees regular payments. According to its conditions you might need to produce something – but in the end. The further and less clear this end is – the better. The vagueness and openness of the timeline, along with the lack or absence of the intermediate deadlines and supervision will allow you to be in charge of your effort and time distribution ! Beware of the temptation to become the secretary, assistant, boss, and policemen of yourself !

There are 2 modes of practicing laziness. Advanced mode implies starting non-working on your ‘project’ as soon as you get the stipend. For extreme workaholics with high levels of responsibility and guilt inclinations, we suggest a soft mode, where one gradually reduces the time spent on their ‘project’. Starting with 8 hours of work a day, 5 days per week, one should work one hour less everyday, so in 1,5 half week you will get only 1 hour of work. Next step is to start working fewer days per week. One should either gradually reduce the number of working days per week or skip every second working day, gradually skipping more and more days. Finally, after extended days-off and continuous idleness, it would be harder and harder to get to the working routine. When you feel that you have completely internalised the laziness, you can get into practicing laziness independently, without a timeframe.

! Beware of getting overexcited by the amount of free time and falling into the trap of other production-oriented projects. Decline all other invitations and skip all the open-calls where you would need to work.

! Beware of the feeling of guilt that might haunt you at some point. Remember that ‘laziness’ as a negative phenomenon is a concept imposed by the exploitative capitalist and state systems. There is nothing either natural or normal in work. Constant work is unnecessary. Your body can self-regulate the regimes of activity, so trust it. Finally, think and reply to yourself honestly: has all the time and effort that you put into work over the years been rewarded fairly, if at all? So your idleness is just a belated reimbursement or an extended burnout rehabilitation.

! ! The recovering effects of the long-term laziness might be overruled, when / if the actual really final deadline arrives.

By Olia Sosnovskaya

Digital collage by Olia Sosnovskaya

Building a career in the dying world / Ambition in grief

Search online for ‘climate change’ and read related articles for 1 hour.

Remember the natural cataclysms which happened this year and are happening now. Look outside and think if the weather is normal for this place and time of the year. Since when have you started noticing these anomalies?

Relate the scientists’ predictions of the climate change affects forecast to your age: how old would you be when most of the glaciers melt? When half of the existing species are extinct? When some countries become uninhabited?

Reply to yourself honestly, how would you want to spend the years before the catastrophe?

By Olia Sosnovskaya

Digital collage by Olia Sosnovskaya

To make a black painting during three hours in a public square

Take an empty white canvas, an easel, black paint, and one brush into public space. The best is to choose a place that contains some black elements.

Paint the white canvas black over the course of three hours.

The rules for the performance is to be open to questions from people passing by – but never stop painting, using very slow and controlled movements.

Do not hesitate to transform the performance into a general discussion over the tradition of monochrome painting (Malevich etc), the nature of black color and painting as an activity.

This performance was performed in 2010 at Sergels Torg in Stockholm. More info here.

By Nils Claesson

To make a white painting on a white canvas in a black box

Take an empty white canvas, an easel, white paint and one brush into a black box space.

Paint the white canvas white during 20 minutes.

The rules for the performance is to be open for questions from the audience that will be sitting or standing in a circle around the artist.

Do not hesitate to answer questions about the tradition of monochrome painting and the nature of white. One reference in the discussion could be Malevich’s white paintings, another artist to mention could be Robert Ryman. The nature of the color white and the relation between white as a color and the black box as a space could also be a topic.

By Nils Claesson

Born but yet unnamed

Wait until your birthday has come. Invite all your friends to go for a long walk through the city. For my birthday I wrote a message:

2 мар 2019 г., 19:29

hi everyone! I invite everyone to take a walk on


We meet TOMORROW (on Sunday) at 15:30 in KFC near Nagatinskaya metro station. Take food, drinks, friends, and what/whomever you want with you. well… and put on shoes, get ready for everything) see you soon! hugs to everyone!

You can propose your own route or ask for help from your friends.

Screenshot from Dzina Zhuk’s birthday chat with friends, 2019

During your walk, give yourself a treat: bring hooch from your friend’s father & drink it on the most beautiful high spot with a view over the city; do not hesitate to eat local food from kiosk & drink alcohol bought in a corner shop.

After this celebration you will find yourself in an alcoholic intoxication and you can even throw up collectively with your friends. After that, your body will tell you what to do: just lie in bed for 3 days, reschedule all your meetings, eat only healthy and light food, forget about all old ideas and doubts (your body won’t let you do that anyway). This period can be very productive in an unproductive way or unproductive in a very productive way.

By Dzina Zhuk


wanted to add as another sub-exercise

2) Get sick.

It could be a micro food poisoning or a cold – but be careful with the degree of sickness. Today the deadline-based timeframe and freelance / zero hours employment systems deprive us even of the luxury of getting a proper sick leave. However, as Dzina mentions, your body would not allow you to follow them. Just follow your body desires, un-abilities and aspirations – lie in bed, sleep; don’t look into the screens too much; don’t think, forget about your ambitions and anxieties.

yesss for intoxication! i think it is a really good tool. hangover, выхода. and it shows a complex relation between pleasure & frustration/pain in the work/non-work relations. also serving as a sort of response to the culture of stimulants and vitamins for better productivity

yes, for me it works as a kind of renewal (though it might sounds crazy), i see the things from a new sudden unexpected trajectory

Constraining activity

Please find something which works best for you as a splint. A cutting board, a notebook or an ergonomic part of furniture are all good choices! A bracing material is needed as well. Use something you have on hand. It could be a scarf, belt, a wire from the charger of your laptop or smartphone.

Write down on small pieces of paper those parts of your body that can be constrained. It is better to ask your friends to do the writing to avoid cognitive biases.

Close your eyes and take out one of the papers. Read the name of a chosen body part and constrain it using materials you prepared.

Here are some pictures for inspiration/deprivation:

Digital collage provided by Nicolay Spesivtsev

Do things you planned to accomplish today. Do them for 45 minutes, while staying constrained. Please focus on your feelings. What processes are emphasized? What are suppressed or slowed down? What are you focusing your attention on? What is outside of your range of view? Do you want to prolong? What part of your body do you want to have tightened next time?

Please stop your activity strictly after 45 minutes even though you want to prolong the exercise.

Take some pictures of you being tightened. Send them to us with the list of things you made during the exercise.

Repeat the exercise tomorrow.

It’s better to do the exercise collectively.

By Nicolay Spesivtsev


do you think the exercise would provoke you to give more effort or less?

I think the most interesting effect is to focus on different mechanisms of acceleration that are installed on psycho-somatic level within our bodies. So the aim of the exercise is not to produce more or less but to make new alliances between different parts of ourselves. Does it make sense?

yes! it makes a lot of sense )

A guided obsession

Think of a person you like or used to like recently. If you are in love with someone at the moment, that’s perfect too.

Think about this person for 5 minutes. How do they look like, what does their voice sound? Recall the times you were together. How did you meet the first time? Where did you go together after? What did you talk about? How have you touched each other? If you didn’t, remember how your bodies were positioned in relation to each other.

Imagine how you meet again and what you will do and say. What this person will do, how you would react. Be creative. You can use your previous meetings as inspiration and a template for your dreams.

Find this person’s social network profile. Stalk it for at least 30 minutes. Look at the pictures, read posts and comments, check the people who liked them. Look at the people from their contact list. Be attentive and detailed.

Optional: Write a message to this person, but do not send it. Wait a minute, then re-read it. Edit it. Write a few other messages. Choose one that you would like to send.

! Beware of obsessive working in case your affection becomes too strong and is not mutual.

By Olia Sosnovskaya


I’m thinking to myself if we should include this exercise at all. First of all, is it ethical to involve others in this kind of practice, even indirectly? Secondly, maybe it’s too foolish? What do you think?

I like the idea of suspended obsessions, practiced emotional potential which can or cannot expose itself in the future. The idea of preserved emotional labor. Coming back to your question, I think these people would be pleased to be remembered by a person who does this exercise amidst the mayhem of meaningless concerns, or even receive a text from them. We don’t get offended if we greet a happy birthday with a wave of a magic algorithmical wand of social networks, right?

Looking at great successful young artists you will never be

Go to the or any other webpage of young artists’ prize, or check Documenta or Venice Biennale participant lists and look for people under 35 years old. Browse through the participant’s websites, gaze at glossy screenshots and splendid photos of displays. Scroll endless exhibition lists in their CVs. Check what kind of schools they went to. Calculate how much the education and life in that countries would cost you, including visa-related expenses and fees depending on your citizenship. If possible, check how diverse the graduate of those schools are in terms of ethnicity, gender, class, and origin.

If you happen to graduate from the same school, ask yourself why you are still not among those people yet? Look back at your life and analyse what has brought you to your current place. Dream about other options you might have had – would they make any difference? Given the experience of the past years, do you think your status would change drastically in the near future? Ask yourself if you put too much effort and stress in what you are not really in control of?

If you will never become a great successful young artist, just relax and do what you really really want and enjoy.

By Olia Sosnovskaya

Bodies at non-work (sleeping bodies – sick bodies – exhausted bodies – unskilled bodies)

Create a playlist with the music you can’t resist dancing to. If you have a good or loud enough sound system, the exercise would be more efficient, but using headphones is also possible. Set an alarm clock to any time during your working day. The exercise can be performed anywhere, the only requirement is the proximity to your workspace, so you can switch to the practice right from your work.

Start the exercise: turn on the music from your playlist and dance energetically, devotedly and passionately for at least 10 minutes. Repeat the training everyday, gradually increasing its duration by adding at least a minute each time.

As a result of this exercise your attention and overall bodily condition would be drastically switched from the working routine, with its flow interrupted. The effect of the exercise can last for over an hour after its fulfillment.

By Olia Sosnovskaya


Is dance non-productive or, on the contrary, does it train stamina and provide rehabilitation in order for the improved body to be useful and able to work again? Substituting overwork with another kind of exhaustion, which seems liberating and transcendent. Does it make your body disobedient to the logic of capitalism or rather train it to sustain long monotonous hours of activity.

For me it’s hard to think about any type of autonomous activity free from the logic that a body should incur value (in a form of creative potential as well). Everything that seemed autonomous and authentic yesterday, tomorrow could be a form of alienating work. So maybe we can talk not about places/time/states-of-our-bodies but about networks we can web/twine. My question is: what type of solidarity/empowerment can we establish through dance?

<3 for your last question !

To play computer games which don’t care if you play them or not

I’m grateful to Alexandra Anikina for inspiring these ideas.

Screenshot from video game Everything, developed by David OReilly, 2017

Mountain. It is a certain world, in which a separate autonomous mountain exists – an agent beyond all human relations. The mountain moves, and you can either approach it or distance yourself from it.

Screenshot from video game Everything, developed by David OReilly, 2017

A human has an observant role: one cannot control the insides of a computer game anymore. Most likely, it is the other way around: the mountain is evolving and living all by itself. For one dollar, you can only get access to the observation of subjectivity which holds a world on its own. Night and day change in a game, as well as conditions of existence, but as a user, you can only perform micro-actions which don’t influence anything. Sometimes you can even see the state of the mountain shown on a screen, or encounter an attempt to engage in dialogue (or just a question?).

Screenshot from video game Everything, developed by David OReilly, 2017

In Everything you can become one of the animals, insects, the Universe particles on a microlevel, or, let’s say, a comet on a macro-level. Along with that, your protagonist is able to time travel. Today I was a mammoth, and I got back into the Ice Age. To gain agency, you can get inside the avatars at different levels and become a ladybug or, if you spend enough time reaching a certain level, a molecule of this ladybug. If you could have ever imagined Universal Procrastination, this is it: you don’t have to do anything. If you give up, your avatar starts its own life walking and travelling around the planet, which is just like the Mountain – an (utopian?) island where various processes occur, and you can co-exist with them, plunge into them (or is plunging just a way of coexistence – a careful one?).

There are games which don’t need a viewer, games which are stripped off a viewer’s gaze, of an outsider’s gaze. Something is happening there while you’re not present, a world changes and evolves; and it is not loaded with ‘God’s’ sight, human’s sight. A human doesn’t rule anymore, doesn’t control an in-game universe. The bodies in the process of creation are being present there, not the bodies which have already been created.

By Dzina Zhuk

Screenshot from video game Everything, developed by David OReilly, 2017

Create a temporary recreation area

Invite guests via a local food delivery aggregator. After the first treats are served by the guests, invite them to join the table. Tell them that this picnic was initiated particularly for food couriers and is built up by their colleagues. That it is a temporary recreation room set to rest from the daily routine. That guests were invited to find some time for a break from their insane work schedules to attend a picnic for a while and to be together.

By eeefff


All in all, how is time scheduled for food delivery work? As I understand it, in Russia you cannot just take a break, it has to be allowed by a manager. And if you pause while treating it as an incomplete order, it may look like a delay, right? + other orders will be standing in the queue? Well, it will be interesting to think about how it is really possible to trick the system and its scheduling!

As far as I know, it’s quite a monstrous system, at least in Moscow. Yes, you cannot set your work rhythm yourself, it is regulated either by a manager or an algorithm which optimizes human resources. Only a year ago you could encounter Yandex food couriers idling in McDonalds or Burger King. But for now, something had changed in the algorithmical heads of managers and couriers who bum around, banished from the streets and cafes.

Instructions for unproductive daydreaming session

This exercise is to be performed around 2 p.m. in the middle of a working day. It is a dance meditation that interrupts the flow of your daily drag and forces your body to relax and forget about all its daily troubles. In order to perform the exercise, follow the instructions below: Download the audio from soundcloud onto your phone. Step out of your office and find a relaxing meadow in order to fall into a meditative state. A ‘Meadow’ is here to be considered as: “A flat surface where you are capable of laying down. It could be your bedroom floor, a city park or a sunny rooftop. It can be found anywhere where you are alone and feel comfortable and safe in a horizontal position.” Lie down. Relax. Put your headphones on. Press play.

This exercise is inspired by the project Neverendings by the choreographer Sergiu Matis, whom I closely collaborate with. The project is based on the research of Ernst Bloch’s Principle of Hope. Neverendings premiered in 2017 in Berlin. Soundscape is designed by Carl Perks.

By Mila Pavićević

How to upset a Father (An assault on the powerful through nasty means)

Exercises-stories for survival, on Hardships that conceal themselves and the Indolences of daughters

The Celebration of Disobedience of tactical amenities, the hardships of charms of a naive rebellion: the art of treat and gorge, of selection and offerings; tiny clandestine manipulations and a triple betrayal in the name of Elektra, Eclair, and Thunderbolt!

Car la poudre et la foudre c’est fait pour que les rats envahissent le monde! Because powder and lightning are made for rats to invade the world!


A father-spoiled truffle paste, who cannot sneak into a splendid entrance hall of Gubin’s mansion — wallowed in luxury, there’s no passage below, he is forced to spy on the dance of plasterwork and marble through a window, to hit it with a sorrowful wing, with eye-hair-snake venom, with all his eight gut-pink fingers. My Venetian father, I bring an offering-feeling to your black vacuum, and a non consumable Italian paste-daughter. There’s no passage to you from below, but I know that here, beneath, the girls live; they cram their mouths with filth and take it out with lips, intuitive trackhounds searching for the complementary culinary ingredients for the Kitchen of Earthy Poison.

A father-strawberry Dirol — subtle scorching gum on, paint coming off in chunks, on husk, on squame (through straws) triggers saliva, foam at the mouth!

A father-blue Elektra. A message-question from a Blue Fire of Imperfection of a favorite Ellinistic heroine, one of the jewels of a Greek drama: How to disappoint a Father?

By Welcome to the Dollhouse!

Гиперактивное упражнение

Hyperactive exercise

Image provided by Aleksei Borisionok

Paradoxically, one way to do nothing is to engage oneself in bureaucracy, its solid, counterproductive power, and its substrate: archives, records, management, and documentation. If for the person on the receiving end, bureaucracy soon turns into a living hell, simulating the feeling that one is walking in a vicious circle, then for an employee within that bureaucracy, work can feel like an exercise in procrastination: the ultimate form of doing nothing – with its small pleasures – and wasting time. This laziness constitutes a specific type of pleasure located within the routine of everyday life, and this laziness interrupts work. Is it possible to use the anti-creative and non-productive power of bureaucracy and filing of papers for one’s own purposes? The following exercise, which combines archeology, psychogeography, and aimless strolling (flâneur), will help answer this question.

To complete the exercise, you will need an organizational system, which we will term an archive, of any kind, digital or physical: file cabinets, vernacular databases, repositories, various collections of information, preferably containing irrelevant data. Before starting the exercise, we follow Sven Speaker’s question: “Is there a part of the archive that escapes from the archivist’s control, a ‘beyond the archive’ that remains inaccessible to its finding tools?”1 There is no need to answer this question. We will look at the archive not as a language of discourse and power, but as a junction of various pieces of information that slip out of registers, cards, hashtags, and indexes.

The purpose of the exercise: aimlessly wandering around data sets


1. Find the archive or database. Since most likely you are behind a computer screen, it is most convenient to use a digital archive. It is possible to work with the material archive: it activates not only your eyes and fingers, but also the muscles of the arms and back. Databases generated with users-data are suitable for this exercise: social networks (vkontakte, odnoklassniki,, wikipedia, flickr, alibaba, youtube, etc.) Also a personal data set is suitable: for example, an old hard drive disk. Also you can use any psycho-data: bookmarks, contact list in social networks, notes.

2. Come up with a protocol that you will follow. The options are:

2. A) The chaotic way: based on intuition, wink, seduction. Click on any link that seems seductive, strange, interesting, attractive to you. Follow all the links, including the most dumb and containing conspiracies.

2. B) Method-protocol: some users, especially those with a tendency to commit and control, like to follow the protocol. Do not be afraid, come up with the strangest way to go from page to page – anyway, no one will know about it. For example, click on every fifth link, on every material related to a certain topic, a keyword or words that will determine your choice, etc.

N.B. Often, corporate methods will try to control your choices and give you the most obvious moves based on the analysis of your data. Do not be fooled! However, sometimes you should not avoid the logic of the proposed choice – it can lead you to a strange space of the digital unconscious.

3. Turn off all the devices of time measurement, do not let the course of time distract you from such an exciting and counterproductive activity. Perhaps you will learn something new, see special samples of web design, and even save something to your computer.

4. Do not stop!

5. Go from page to page, from video to video, from track to track, from profile to profile: make your aimless hyperactive reeling the most useless, strange, and amazing!

N.B. Psychologists often associate this exercise with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, which is so characteristic of our time.Do not be mistaken! Aimless hyperactive reeling can be performed with all the seriousness of procrastination and a high level of concentration and attention.

An example of hyperactive aimless scrolling on the database of sounds of the social network VKontakte based on the thematic search and related keywords on the topic of geology:

The Sound of the Underworld → Conspiracies of Natalya Stepanova, redone – Multiplication of mineral deposits → Unknown – The sound of the movement of tectonic plates → Viscous Sharab – Tectonic wedge → … → Ilgashevsky Textiles – ALH (atmosphere, lithosphere, hydrogen) → DJ AUTOMAT – TURNS ON MAGMA LEANED BACK 10 METERS BA$$ BOO$T

By Aleksei Borisionok

Anxiety is a place, a place is a destiny


The manual for non-work and laziness from n i i c h e g o d e l a t accumulates a variety of approaches on the topic, which were developed by individual employees of n i i. Non-work with anxiety, with visual and poetic images, and with the body are the constituent parts of this manual; sometimes the routes proposed by researchers unexpectedly intersect, forming new nodes on the time/body/space map. Sometimes the routes exist autonomously. We sincerely hope that each of the users will be able to creatively apply our practices to their own lives.


1) Non-action Algorithms

  • anxiety mapping
  • wet cleaning vs deadline
  • translate me into text
  • slow motion
  • deadline as a tool for procrastination

2) Possible problems and solutions
3) Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
4) Glossary
5) Subject Index
6) Where else to find information on the subject, contact information

  1. Non-action Algorithms
  • anxiety mapping

anxiety is a place, a place is a destiny
work on destiny, line your anxiety, prepare a map and a plan
here are the flashpoints of anxiety, it is a solitaire, travel through it as through a mine field
traveler is a possibility for a prosthetic, imagine yourself in a blaze
for example (*)
this autumn field, the islands of anxiety are smouldering under the yellow leaves,
recognizing anxiety is a code, the same code is sewed into your body somewhere
encounters, feel your future burns like if they have been always present
put on a bandage, put the plan on the map, rub these leaves with ointment

Image provided by n i i c h e g o d e l a t 

trace anxiety places on the body, paint them and decorate
you dressed yourself up, let’s work with this
how long have you been together
how long are you going to be together
answer politely and correctly
how did I meet you – I recognized you by the scent of leaves, you are my series of explosions,
let’s decorate these places and go to a party
hyperlinks and exilement, deport me to all the anxiety places, I follow right now oh now I cross
your page is on fire
I leave it a like
it gives me a wink
do you already know where to be on fire tonight?
would you drop me a link?
places want to be round as nests,
anxiety is also warping into a nest
over-scrolled pages as tiny nests on the fingertips

  • wet cleaning vs deadline


I lie and look at the floor. I can do no more in this state – just lie on the floor and look at the floor. I focus on a thin layer of dust with petals from a bouquet brought on the eighth of March. I look and feel how desire to remove it increases. At the moment this is my strongest desire, it is stronger than the desire to live.

Cleaning is what I want right now. Wet cleaning. I would even say full-scale cleaning. It is necessary to sort out the closet, remove the winter clothes, arrange the spices according to the flavor strength. This is very important, much more important than my deadline on a text, and even more than an unedited video.

Quite rarely, or rather quite briefly, we find ourselves in a state of insufficiently chewed affect when we do not know what we feel. Sensory recognition habits work smoothly, thus we quickly pack affects into a narrative. Anxiety is either a means of achievement, or a consequence of an affective broth, of the non-discrimination of emotions.

Anxiety involves the imagination: I want to imagine the contours and clear silhouettes of future errands, reports, projects – instead of this rattling and discrepancies within myself; the fever of emotions produces spoilers of the future, which can be returned to when resonances fade away.

  • translate me into text


verses on the way to a workplace
notes in the bathroom
how does inner jelly live
a jiggly subject
a magician of anxiety states, a teacher, a guru
dark knowledge from the other side
acts of despair
soulful practices
recognize me
then translate me into text
this is a deck of cards
face down
face up
I’m lying on the bed
ever accelerating deceleration
I see the traces of grief on my friends’ faces and the grief itself
here are its crinkles
and these chinks
and this inappropriate pause in a conversation
friend, we are seaming ourselves into a one soft cloth
we are waiting for ulysses
a table
there’s an old cup of morality
rattling on the table
while you are eating up your dinner with no taste of food
my dear, I’m ready to sweep open toward

  • slow motion

Find a quiet, secure place where no one can distract you from doing the practice. Do a little warm-up that will prepare the body for slow movement. Turn on quiet meditative music (Chinese bells suit perfectly). Set the timer for a specific time. It is recommended to start with 15 minutes of deceleration per day, gradually adding several minutes every time you do this exercise. Theoretically, it is possible to extend the practice to 24 hours a day, but for now, as far as we know, no one has been able to achieve this result. Start the slow movement from the fingertips, gradually outspreading it to the entire body. Try to include the entire possible range of body movement, while maintaining the slowest speed that you are capable of. Continue moving until the timer signal goes off. Smoothly exit the slowdown state.

  • deadline as a tool for procrastination

I exist only six months ahead.
One residence confirmed my participation,
which means that I won six more months of the future.

Postponed events form the horizon of the future, the future that does not exist in the post-truth world. These are the small horizons of upcoming events, projects, conferences, reports and trips. When they approach, they burst on the tongue like a fizzy candy, creating a spoiler of an event online. This is usually enough for the event to never happen.

Deadline, as the most accessible tool for procrastination, will allow you to postpone an event for as long as possible. When you have a deadline, you see this point on the map (also many see the line which is often called deadly), so you can start moving in different directions, leaving behind unnoticed bookmarks, ruins of chats and links that lead nowhere. This is a digital nomad strategy without a rigid structure and given rules for rambling on the Internet.

Try to reasonably approach the deadline and use it repeatedly, endlessly prolonging and postponing. As such an environmentally friendly example, the Biennale The World Without Work, which consisted of numerous open-call parties “before” and endlessly postponed events “after”, can be cited.

2) Possible problems and solutions

The main problem of procrastination is its usefulness. If I do not write the text I do the dishes; if I do not do the cleaning, I watch the movie; if I do not watch a movie, I wander on the Internet and learn something new. This paradox leads us to the fact that procrastination is the most productive, socially approved action. The vice of the 21st century is encrypted labor. Using simple actions, remove the stigma from procrastination, regain the right for laziness.

3) Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

What is the difference between laziness and procrastination?

Answer options:

– Laziness is sweet, procrastination is bitter.

– Procrastination is an intact and explicit process, it is uninterrupted even if discretely divided into parts by a different charge, but it is a single act, and it is positively charged; while laziness implies a stillbirth of the action, before its formation as an impulse, denying it beforehand and keeping the negative charge all over.

– In procrastination, there is a certain potential, a charge. It is like the rune Isa, the rune of freezing. It seems that nothing is supposedly happening on the external level, but juices accumulate inside, they circulate, prepare for Spring. And laziness is just a waste of time.

– Laziness as the saving of strength, the unwillingness to invest in something worthless, kinda good laziness, laziness of care, like: I am tired, I want to lie down – well, lie down; laziness as bliss, lazy noon, let’s go swimming after lunch – no, let’s lie down for a while in the shade, I’m lazy to go; laziness as the ability to relax, to contemplate, the ability to be at rest.

Laziness as an unwillingness to overcome difficulties because the meaning of this overcoming is not very clear, i.e. laziness is something (in a positive sense) healthy: why should I slave away and sweat for this? for what? Thus, laziness is also associated with motivation: something does not provoke laziness in me (personal examples) –even if this is a very tedious task, exhausting. Thus, it is either pleasure from the process, dedication, or strong motivation.

When I say: I’m lazy, – I confess that there is not much pleasure here, and I am not very passionate, and I have no particular motivation.

There is a big difference from procrastination – because it is unconscious, procrastination is precisely like inhibition, postponement, this is when the unconscious beats you, goes around from the rear, leads you somewhere, although you seem to be doing something.

And laziness, if you say: I am lazy, is an open position, an open non-recognition of all your “bonuses” for enduring the alleged difficulties. And that is why laziness is scourged as the mother of vices, because it is a scandal – you confess that there is no pleasure in what you are invited to do, you are not carried away with this, and this motivation does not work for you. And this is a reason to be excluded, because you kind of question some kind of a common game. When you say that you are too lazy to do something, you devalue this action, and thereby terribly offense those who value this business.

4) Glossary

n i i c h e g o d e l a t – liquid / fluid institution that explores and promotes topics and ideas related to post-labor society

a world without labor – a society which is free from the need to engage in alienated labor; possible on the condition of overcoming capitalism

basic income – the regular payment of a certain amount of money, providing a decent standard of living, to each member of society, regardless of their income level and without their need to perform any work

anti-praxis – a strategy aimed at breaking the cyclical nature of the development of capitalism; proposed by representatives of unconditional acceleration (U/ACC). “To accelerate the process, and to throw oneself into those flows, leaves behind the (already impossible) specter of collective intervention. This grander anti-praxis opens, in turn, the space for examining forms of praxis that break from the baggage of the past. We could count agorism and exit as forms impeccable to furthering the process, and cypherpolitics and related configurations arise on the far end of the development, as the arc bends towards molecularization of economic and social relations.” (Edmund Berger)

44 futures – a practical phase of n i i c h e g o d e l a t readings.

Bodily-vocal-graphic performance based on the books of Nick Srnicek / Alex Williams and Peter Frase, in which the authors describe possible types of future in automation

Nomadism – a movement characterized by the rejection of the idea of rigid structures based on binary oppositions and the idea of strict determinism. Nomadism means slipping through conceptual landscapes and a geographic matrix without setting any structural goal; not sharing and not attaching; hacking central control code and stable movement score. It is autonomy and independence from determined conditions.

5) Subject Index

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6) Where else to find information on the subject, contact information:

By n i i c h e g o d e l a t

Relaxation / relaxed tongue

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Relaxation is at the heart of labor. Let’s try to find and preserve it.
  1. To achieve a state of relaxation, detach will from an organ.



The word “virtual” came into everyday use in the 1900’s, as a rider on “reality.” The rider overrode: the connotation was unreality. In the phrase “virtual reality,” the adjective virtual stood as a synonym for artificial. Artificial, in this context, meant illusionary. The context, of course, was the dramatic registering in the popular imaginary that enormous changes were on the horizon with the dawning of the digital age. The first tentative steps toward the construction of interactive immersive environments had triggered hyperbolic worries – or hopes – that the fabled “cyberspace” of 1980s futurist fiction was on its way to supplanting “actual” reality. The world would be swallowed in its own artifice. Synthetic imagery, animated with simulated events, would morph into an all-encompassing virtual habitat, somnambulist Matrix of the illusion of life.

2. But an organ can dry out! // quote

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Relaxed (Mt.4:24, Mt.9:2) – a disease that deprives a person of free movement, and thus the connection between the will and the body part affected by relaxation breaks. When the word is used in the New Testament, it can mean apoplexy or paralysis of the whole organism, paralysis of one side of the body, paralysis of muscle contraction, so that the body parts can neither be raised nor stretched, and then the affected parts of the body are soon made wither. This disease is still prevalent in the East. The parts of the body remain motionless in the very position in which they experienced a sudden seizure, and the suffering is sometimes so intense that soon after the seizure death occurs (Mt.8:6).

3. What do you replace the will with in order to protect an organ from drying out so it stays flexible and soft? You can moisten it with a vagina or, alike the creeping types of plants, cling to watered species, sing songs. You can also do a pleasant massage!

Image provided by n i i c h e g o d e l a t 

DON’T perform any movements with the tongue. Relaxed, wide, flat. These are the main three points. Your head will perform all the movements needed. When your head moves upwards, your tongue wouldn’t go anywhere: it will just follow your head.

Here it’s demonstrated of how to finish the upward movement of a tongue

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Exercises to relax the muscles of organs of articulation. Self-massage of the tongue

We will make a useful massage to the tongue – so that our tongue becomes obedient, calm, relaxed, and it would easily pronounce various sounds. Your lips and teeth will help with that. They will stroke, pat, tap the tongue. And now carefully look at the pictures and try to remember them.


doing lip movements

doing teeth movements


clapping (tapping)

First you need to make your tongue in a shape of a spatula, and then do this:

We stroke our tongue with our lips affectionately

Algorithm: desire provokes relaxation; toss in some curiosity/attention/interest/dedication to detail, and the new 👅 of philosophy is ready!

Image provided by n i i c h e g o d e l a t 


By n i i c h e g o d e l a t

  1. Sven Spieker. The Big Archive. Art from Bureaucracy. Cambridge, London: The MIT Press, 2008. P.3.


In Belarus the relations in the field of culture are regulated by a large number of normative legal acts, which differ in their legal force. The main document is the Culture Code that came into action in 2017. It is symbolic that the Code was signed a year earlier, in 2016, which was announced as the Year of Culture.

The Culture Code is considered to be a unique document which is unprecedented across the Post-Soviet states. 150 legal acts, regulating the cultural sector, were redrafted and united under one document. As stated by the representatives of government entities, the 200 page document is a product of culture legislation codification. According to Boris Svetlov, former Minister of Culture of the Republic of Belarus: “This, undoubtedly, is not some kind of mechanical unification of existing documents. All of them were adapted and systematized. And, of course, this document has been edited in accordance with today’s standards.” Thus, the purpose of the adoption of the Code was not only to put in good order a pile of cultural legislation documents and form a single document, but also to revise them, taking into account today’s standards.

Despite the positive aspects, the Code contains a number of ambiguous provisions that actually introduce censorship to the quality of cultural products. For instance, the Code contains a number of grounds for the prohibition of cultural activities in general. The state will intervene if the artist’s activity promotes war, violence, and cruelty, insults the president or other officials and may harm the morality of others. The grounds for the prohibition of cultural activities are formulated as broadly and vaguely as possible to ensure there are basically no restrictions on their use.

Apart from the restrictions on the content of creativity, the Code also directly establishes the bureaucratic control over issuing the title of creative worker. For example, a state commission may refuse a freelance artist, who is not a member of the Union of Artists, to issue him or her a special certificate of a creative worker, if it does not recognize the artistic value of the works.

The concept of cultural and creative workers

The legislation in Belarus separates such concepts as ‘cultural worker’ and ‘creative worker’.

Cultural workers are the citizens who create, restore, preserve and protect, study, spread and popularize cultural values and aesthetically educate citizens (organize cultural activities). At the same time, the position they take must be named according to the manual of professional positions in the cultural sector. In this manual you can find job responsibilities and qualifications for cultural workers. Cultural workers in Belarus are considered to be workers of museums, libraries, club institutions, zoos, theaters, circuses, film industry, etc.

A creative worker is as a citizen who executes creative activity independently, on the basis of an employment contract or a civil law contract or as a member of a creative union. A creative worker may work on a professional or amateur basis, individually or as part of a collective. The outcome of creative activity is the emergence of a new, previously non-existent outcome of the intellectual activity in the field of culture.

According to the General Classifier of Economic Activities, activities in the field of artistic creation include organization and holding of exhibitions. Moreover, the Code of Culture itself contains contradictions. According to the code, the activities of the above specialists are considered to be cultural activity, which is not the same as creative activity. At the same time, the correlation of cultural and creative activities, except for the inclusion of the latter into the cultural activity, is not clear. Based on this, there is an obvious need to regulate the status of many professional activities (curators, art managers, and others), which so far remain outside the code and its definition of ‘creative activity’.

Cultural worker status

Cultural workers in Belarus must comply with the qualification requirements specified by law, as well as be officially certified at least once every five years.

A cultural worker can upgrade his or her qualification category in order to receive a supplemental payment, have longer holidays or receive other bonuses provided by law or a collective agreement. To do this an artist needs to undergo special training in an educational institution.

The Culture Code separately establishes a possibility for cultural workers to go on training and internships outside of Belarus. However, such internships are strictly regulated by law. For example, a cultural worker can undergo an internship only in foreign organizations, approved by the Ministry of Culture of Belarus. A training cannot last more than three months per year, and an internship – no more than five months. The leaders of cultural organizations are personally responsible for sending cultural workers outside of Belarus reasonably. Moreover, if by any chance a cultural worker does not return by the end of the internship period or does not fulfill the plan, then he or she will have to fully refund the money spent by the state on that trip.

Creative worker status

In Belarus creative workers can join a creative union or work independently. In the first instance, the status of a creative worker is approved by the creative union itself. If a creative worker is independent, he or she will have to apply to the expert commission under the Ministry of Culture to receive a professional certificate.

Experts can be representatives of creative unions, higher education institutions or the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus. The members of the expert commission remain unchanged throughout the years of its existence. Replacement of a member of the commission is accompanied by an order on behalf of the Ministry of Culture of Belarus. The frequency of the expert commission meetings depends on the number of applications. For example, from July 23, 2015 to March 31, 2016 ten meetings on confirming the status of a creative worker were held. The expert commission examined 47 applications and a professional certificate was issued to 26 applicants, who have confirmed the status of a creative worker. On the website of the Ministry of Culture there is neither open data on the current board of the commission nor statistics of incoming applications or decisions made about them. The up-to-date data is available only by a written request sent to the Ministry.

To get a certificate of a creative worker one must contact the expert commission and provide it with a statement drawn up in a special form and materials, approving the results of creative activity. Such materials may include works of literature and art, publications, reviews, etc. If a worker has been awarded with prizes or titles in the field of culture, he or she must provide the information about them. While examining the creative activity of a worker, the expert commission checks whether the works are new, previously non-existent and reach a high artistic level. It takes one month for a commision to make a decision. In case of a positive decision, you will receive a certificate free of charge valid for five years.

After receiving a certificate or joining a creative union, creative workers have a right to use a pseudonym, use the results of their practice and receive income from their activities. With the adoption of the decree “On the Prevention of Social Parasitism”, a creative worker, who has been admitted into a creative union or has received a certificate, cannot be considered a social parasite and is free from paying a parasitism tax.

Art collectives

Creative workers can unite not only into creative unions, but also into art collectives. Such groups can be professional, amateur (unprofessional) or authentic folklore. In the Culture Code you can find forms and genres according to which artists can create collectives. The following genres are accepted: theatre, decorative arts, applied art, design, visual arts and some others. The form can be: theater, orchestra, ensemble, studio or others. The legislation does not limit creative workers in their choice of genres and forms. Collectives themselves can be created in the form of a legal entity (its units) or club formations.

If a creative worker is a member of a professional art collective, he or she has to sign an employment or civil law contract. If a collective is amateur, a creative worker executes his or her activities on the basis of membership or admission.

Creative unions

Creative unions are public associations of creative workers and other citizens. The list of unions is set by the Ministry of Culture and can be found on the website of the Ministry of Culture. At the moment there are 16 creative unions. The field of fine arts in Belarus is represented by the Union of Artists. It organizes and holds exhibitions, plein-airs and other creative events.

A particular feature of creative unions is state participation. For example, state bodies provide certain benefits for unions and their members; place social and creative orders; purchase works of fiction and art by members of the creative unions; provide buildings, spaces, equipment and other property and services; spread information on the activity through state media and provide sponsorship assistance. The creative unions can submit proposals to state bodies concerning not only the cultural issues, but also the social protection of the creative workers.

For example, members of the Belarusian Union of Artists, among other things, have a right to exhibit their works at all exhibitions, including auctions and salons (without a selection process);1 use all types of creative material and legal assistance of the Union; work on the basis of an agreement and hand over the work to the customer without expert and artistic committee report; have a right for the artist studio.

Another advantage for an artist of participating in a creative union (Belarusian Union of Artists) can be an exemption from parasitism tax: artists who are members of unions and artists with certificates are considered employed in the economy.

The process of joining a creative union is governed by the statute of the union itself. For example, in order to enter the Belarusian Union of Artists, it is necessary to meet the following requirements: to reach the age of 18, have a higher professional art education, be an artist or art critic, create works of art or art history that have independent creative value. An artist without a degree who has proved professional significance and was recognized by the art community in exceptional cases can be accepted into the Belarusian Union of Artists.

To become a member of the Union, an artist must provide a chairman of the section or regional organization of the Union with the following documents:

1. written application

2. a copy of education certificate

2. CV

4. statement of residence

5. two color photos 3×4

6. a documented list of exhibitions (not less than 10), objects, publications, photographs of works with catalog data, a list of main works

7. recommendations given by at least three members of the Union with at least 5 years of membership

8. performance report and proof of employment (if an artist works)

The procedure does not finish with the submission of documents. If a section or regional organization of the Union recommends an artist for the membership, he or she will have to bring all the documents personally for consideration by a commission consisting of the Secretariat of the Union and members of the Revision Commission. After that the documents are reviewed by the Presidium and the Rada (Council) of the Union. An artist receives a membership card only after this multi-stage examination and only in case of a positive decision. By June 2019 the Belarusian Union of Artists had only 1019 members.

Registration and taxation of the activities of creative workers (artists)

If a creative worker acts independently without making a labor or civil law contract with an art collective, cultural organization or other entity, then he or she must register his or her activities and pay taxes independently as a craftsman or individual entrepreneur.

If an artist wants to work as a craftsman, then he or she:

1. must be registered in the tax office at the place of residence

2. must pay tax once a year (1 base value. By April 2019 – 25.5 rubles. Moreover, if the annual income is more than tax x100, a worker needs to pay 10% of the excess)

3. must use only personal labor (it is forbidden to hire other people)

4. can actualize the manufactured art objects only in order to satisfy the household needs of citizens in special places: markets, fairs, workshops, online or by mail / via courier delivery, as well as by concluding agreements with other legal entities or individual entrepreneurs

5. can teach other people for free (max. 3 people at a time) for 2 years on the basis of craft training agreements

If an artist prefers to register as an individual entrepreneur, he or she must go through state registration in a local government administration, which can be a city or district executive committee. To be registered as a private entrepreneur, an artist must bring his or her passport to the registration authority, an application, a 3×4 photo, a receipt of state fee payment, and a file for the documents. The next day after submitting the documents to the registration authority, an artist receives a certificate of state registration of an individual entrepreneur with a photo, address, and state number. After that, an artist should register in the tax office at the place of residence. As an artist in this case pays a single tax, he or she does not have to open a bank account or go through other formalities. A single tax is paid once a month, and it is necessary to submit reports to the tax office.

Registration of an individual entrepreneur can be beneficial if an artist is going to attract other people to his work on a contract basis, as well as if his annual income is substantial. While registering as an individual entrepreneur, there are no checks whether the activity is art or not, hence the main point is to comply with formalities and pay taxes in a timely manner.

Am I a Parasite? Illustration: Anna Karanevskaya

  1. The regulations for certain exhibitions, auctions, etc. may indicate that artists are admitted to them by decision of the jury. Thus, the work of members of the Union can participate without additional procedural delays.


Letter 1

At the beginning of 2019 I received a short letter which started with the following lines:

“The Minsk Employment Service proposes assistance with the search for work at the department of public services No2.

For inclusion (exclusion, exemption from payment of services with reimbursement of expenses as a result of finding yourself in a difficult life situation) in the database of able-bodied citizens who are not employed in the economy, you must contact the permanent commission in charge of coordinating work to promote employment of the administration of … district of Minsk”.

I was aware that I fall under the law of ‘not employed in the economy.’

On the one hand, I have the opportunity to prove that I am a “cultural worker”: after graduating from the Academy of Arts I have been exhibiting periodically for the last four years. On the other hand, I think in great detail about what I should demonstrate and to whom: there is such a latent sensation of the futility of action itself and the inability to justify to my state the mere existence of what I am doing.

Step by step, I began to fill in a special portfolio for the Ministry of Culture. When I called the ministry to find out what documents I required, I was informed that the portfolio should include a maximum of ten works completed at a high professional level, which already sounded rather vague. Then I phoned the district administration and wrote a statement asking to grant me a respite for the period of three months in order to have time to collect all the documents.

The list of documents required for the session of the committee:

– Two reviews from artists, preferably from Belarusian Union of Artists. Articles about myself as an artist, catalogues, diplomas, mentions in mass media;

– Art university diploma (if there is one);

– Photos of ten artworks with a description. Original artworks should be brought to the session;

– Artist CV

Everything should be recorded on three DVD disks (it is not possible to send everything by email or bring on a USB stick). When I called the Ministry of Culture to specify what artworks can be demonstrated on photos, I was told that installation is not included in the list of works that can be shown, it is not art and cannot be considered by the committee. Apparently, they were confused by the document issued by the Ministry of Culture stating that curating is not a creative activity.

The process of collecting the documents was disrupted by work and an art residency, as well as by the lack of understanding why it was really needed: on paper it was clear, but the сollecting of documents and the rituality of the process were very frustrating.

This process itself reminds me of the difficulties in articulation of my art practice in Belarus. While the majority of artists in Belarus have problems with self-representation in the field of art, such administration requests – what are you doing exactly and how do you make your living – cause a brain freeze. The borderline state of contemporary art in Belarus turns artists into drifting subjects, avoiding (not always voluntarily) fixation and definition. This intention of the state to capture and pinpoint us, assign us an economical status (because it is initiated in order to figure out how we make our living), makes the procedure even more troubling.

The request to label myself, be assigned a name, be put in a list, and alongside with that to prove that I am useful or that I am actually an artist, although there is no existing governmental institution to support my work (for example a museum of contemporary art), causes deep controversies and raises numerous questions.

Since I am not the only one living in the apartment, I have to take into account the opinion of my family: according to the law, if I fail to provide the proof that I am involved in the economy, I will have to pay increased community charges.

I submitted documents on June 19. The law guarantees that the answer will be provided within a month, and during that time I will be invited to bring my artworks to a committee meeting.

The committee

On June 19, exactly one month later, I received a call. I was invited to the Ministry of Culture on June 21 at 12:00.

At 12:00 I was in the meeting room. I was the only one, although usually they gather several candidates for a cultural worker status. The committee consisted of 11 people. Only 8 came to my session while 9 votes are needed for a quorum. Luckily, one of the committee members who didn’t come to the session, got acquainted with my documents in absentia and rated them positively.

The secretary read out my brief biography, after which they gave the floor to me and asked to tell them about my art. Images of my ten artworks, which I recorded on a disk for my application, were projected on the screen. I think that my presentation lasted 8-10 minutes. I was asked only one question: where did I have solo shows. After my reply they said thank you and allowed me to leave.

The procedure seemed to be both official and nonsensical: it seemed that nobody really needed it. Despite the fact that the meeting went well, I still had a certain doubt: they seem to have ‘identified’ me, but at the same time there was a feeling that the committee itself did not fully understand the necessity of the entire procedure but everyone tried to function properly. Or rather that I was not the one whom the state was looking for to assign a role of a parasite.

Letter 2

On July 29 I found in my mailbox a letter stating that I am granted the status of a cultural worker for a period of five years.

Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Belarus

On sending a certificate of a creative worker

Dear Uladzimir Uladzimiravich!
In accordance with the decision of the expert commission on confirming the status of a creative worker, the protocol of the meeting of the expert commission on confirming the status of a creative worker dated July 22, 2019 No. 1, the Ministry of Culture sends you a certificate of a creative worker.

Supplement: on 1 sheet in 1 copy

The head of the main department of state specialized and cultural events and professional art I.V.Driga”

“Professional certificate of a creative worker No. 1-2019

Date of issue: 07/22/2019

This certificate confirms that Uladzimir Uladzimiravich Hramovich, born on 05/29/1989, passport […] dated 03/12/2014, is a creative worker.

The head of the main department of state special and cultural events and professional art I.V.Driga

The term is valid from 07/22/2019 to 07/21/2024″


There are two optics, or ways of seeing this procedure, which I often used during that time. The first one is a blind following of the ritual and state protocols. By using this optics one can think less and perceive everything as an inevitable fact of life: exactly how the state would like us to think about it. Another optics is a constantly drifting gaze; a state of being when you don’t know where to look and why is it even necessary. Such neuroticism doesn’t boost self-confidence or provide tranquility but illustrates well the state in which the government apparatus puts you and, even more, wants to fit this process into the explanatory framework. Instead of the description which assigns a status of a cultural worker, it rather becomes a caption to the situation in which an artist or a person is put in this country.

Somehow it resembles a caption one can find at art exhibitions, which is there to direct a viewer or explain an artwork. Often these are meaningless words and phrases which lead nowhere and signify nothing. Therefore, I find that the right thing to do in this situation is to use my own gaze, appropriate this setting and self-mobilize.

Parasite tax took to the streets people who have not been previously seen by the state and by each other. Guest workers, who work outside of the country, artists, unemployed or self-employed stand shoulder to shoulder, appear in front of each other, become alive for each other.

For Arendt, according to Judith Bulter, political action becomes possible with the existence of a body: “I appear to others, and the others appear to me, which means that some space between us allows each to appear”. We don’t just see each other and don’t just talk to hear each other. Who we are bodily, is a way of being for the other. When we appear this way “we are made available, bodily, for another whose perspective we can neither fully anticipate nor control”.1

Thus, a kind of de-virtualization took place between me and other citizens who fell under the law and it is worth continuing the process of appearing in front of each other, and in front of myself. The description may become a starting point, and that is what I attempted here: articulating and giving voice to situations and issues across this territory is now one of the most important tasks for me. What has no voice must acquire it; what was not named should be named – and not delegated to a state which historically has not represented us for a long time.

Upon receiving the status of a cultural worker, in general, nothing has changed. There is only peace of mind that the maintenance bills will not be increased in the next five years – for the period the status is given. However, it’s worth noting that such documents and laws are an occasion to review how we exist in society and within the state and remember that everything can be reviewed, reassembled or even canceled, since the law does not perform any function but only discredits cultural workers, as well as many others.

  1. Butler, Judith, 2018. Notes toward a performative theory of assembly (pp. 76-77). Cambridge, Massachusetts; London, England: Harvard University Press.

Alena Chekhovich

Alena Chekhovich lives and works in Minsk. She is a human rights activist, a lawyer of the Belarusian human rights organization Human Constanta. She graduated from the European Humanities University (Vilnius, Lithuania) and has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in International and European Law. Her research interests include the socio-humanitarian derivatives of globalization, international migration and mobility, international security in global and regional aspects, gender studies and environmental problems of our time.

Uladzimir Hramovich

Lives and works in Minsk, Belarus. He graduated from the Gymnasium-College of Arts named after I.O. Akhremchik in 2009 and the Department of Graphics at Belarusian State Academy of Arts in 2015. Hramovich has been a member of Problem Collective since 2016. In his art he addresses memory, history of art and architecture, and their influence on politics.