project image
Sylvia Schwenk

first performed on August 14, 2015
Melbourne Art Fair - on the City Circle Tram, Melbourne, Australia
performed once in 2015


Berlin, Germany / Sydney, Australia


Research tells us that we laugh for less than six minutes a day. This is surprisingly one-third of the time people laughed in the 1950s, and we are correspondingly almost 20% less happy today than people were then. “World Domination” is a socially engaged performance work. It is a fun and playful work of art that encourages laughter, whilst parodying evil, greed, and the desire to control the world. It is nonsense. It is a silly and carefree project that is happy and evil, and playful and scary all at the same time. “World Domination” aims to inspire happiness and laughter. It reveals everyday people in ordinary spaces acting with playfulness, silliness, and spontaneity, while the darker side of the work—the connotations of evil, greed, violence, and dominance—act as a counterpoint.

In the pilot of “World Domination,” performed during peak-hour on a tram in Melbourne, the artist directed ‘Movements of Laughter’ that initiated a carriage full of passengers to join in with the silliness of laughter.

‘Movements of Laughter’ include:

A. Individual ‘World Domination laughter’

B. Acts of spontaneous large scale ‘World Domination laughter’ by participants; and

C. Individual ‘World Domination laughter,’

Silence, followed by

Large scale ‘World Domination laughter.’

Each of these ‘Movements of Laughter’ become infectious. Passengers in the tram carriage joined in with the silliness of the laughter, because laughter is contagious; once one person starts laughing, others quickly follow. This Pilot will be refined and further “World Domination” works will be performed and created. There is currently an open call out for works of “World Domination.”

The call out is as follows:

  1. Ask a friend to film you on your smart phone or camera laughing a ‘World Domination laugh.’

  2. Your video should be no longer than 20 seconds (including the before and after of the ‘World Domination laugh.’

  3. Email your ‘World Domination laugh’ to:

*Tip: The first take of an evil ‘World Domination laugh’ is often the best.

The submitted works will be edited and compiled into a film.