The text-on-paper piece How To Be strips down that Internet cliché, the listicle, to its core. By presenting a series of simplified instructions on how to be a human being — categorised by the social construct of “you are your job” — it is a statement embracing our universal humanity (while also chiding the oh-so-easy personal improvement industry).
Visually, How To Be steps away from contemporary sleekness by using the minimalist, stripped-down medium of text — typed with a manual typewriter — on plain white paper. Foregoing sentence capitalisation, headlines are in all caps, making the lists stark statements of common, ageless aspects of daily life.
In fact, the ten items of each list are identical, highlighting that no matter how the individual is categorised by modern society — and in the capitalist reality, one’s job is the ultimate definer — the underlying needs of all humans are universal.
Text written by Peter Letzelter-Smith