Doing and nothingness

Being is that and outside of that, nothing.

(Jean-Paul Sartre)

Fiverr declared 2018 to be The Year of Do. Do something, sell something, promote the crap out of it, hustle, use your power to get shit done, be a Doer.

But what if you just want to do nothing, even when everything has a price? Indeed, the price-form can result in a situation where ‘things such as conscience, honour, etc., can be offered for sale by their holders, and thus acquire the form of commodities through their price’ [1]. So what is the price of nothing?

During the development of Work hard dream big, superconductr found that there are frequent appearances of sellers on Fiverr who propose to sell nothing for US$5. These offers function as acts of non-participation in the credo of compulsory entrepreneurial productivity proclaimed by the company, micro-refusals in the vein of Herman Melville’s literary character Bartleby, still from the view of the platform they amount to little more than a little extra noise in the system. Fiverr eventually deletes these offers when they are detected by the orderlies policing what is offered for sale through the platform, but often the offers do stay available for weeks before they are removed.

superconductr has contacted the sellers of these gigs, sellers who proposed to do nothing and get paid for it. These sellers were asked, for a payment of US$5 each, to create a short video in which they film something that represents nothingness for them, while reading out the text that they had posted with their offer.


[1] Marx, K. (1976 [1867]) Capital Volume 1, p. 197