Forced Leisure
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Forced Leisure

A hammock, a symbol of leisure, relaxation and even freedom, is combined with elements of a straitjacket.
Textile sensors are woven into the fabric and measure the “degree of relaxation”. Movement and attempts of escape are detected in different spots and transformed into audio glitches, which are used to treat the proband.
Time frames for leisure are premeditated in our society, imitating the way we live our work life, thoroughly planned and with the greatest possible efficiency in mind.
“Forced Leisure” offers a safe space, a leisure cocoon for doing nothing. The interactive installation plays with the imperative “Relax NOW!”
A person who does not want to abide to that and who wants to get active, is reminded loudly and immediately that now is the time to relax.
The title “forced leisure” is borrowed from “leisure theories”* and refers to forced unemployment, affecting mostly permanently unemployed persons as well as those that are excluded from working life in the first place (asylum seekers, partly women) or for whom only insufficient measures of inclusion in the job market exist, that would make a meaningful occupation possible for them (people with disabilities).
– Christoph Gruber & Laura Skocek
*Rojek, Chris: Capitalism and Leisure Theory. Routledge, 2013.

Photos: Christoph Gruber


2018 Group Exhibition Future Perfect @ Intersections symposium (Hygienic Arts Gallery/New London/US)

2015 Group Exhibition Schmiede READY (Alte Saline/Hallein/Salzburg)



Idea & sound design

Christoph Gruber & Laura Skocek

Sensor design & installation

Christoph Gruber

Electronics & programming

Laura Skocek


sewn conductive thread, Arduino, Firmata + vvvv

Installation, Sculpture