Annie Runkel

The Boredom Project: Boredom, Art & Attention

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The Boredom Project is a practice-based research project dedicated to the topic of boredom. Boredom is a complex, multifaceted emotional state which is frequently associated with deeply destructive behaviours. It has, however, also been shown to boost creativity and act as a powerful motivator for change. Boredom is a universal emotion, yet its history is closely entwined with modernity and the development of capitalism. It affects our perception of time as well as our ability to sustain attention in a cultural context in which both are highly monetised. 

Designed as an interdisciplinary research project, the Boredom Project addresses these contradictions through the lens of artistic practice. It develops a theory of art as ‘pointed attention’ to examine the impact of boredom on individuals and society. The project uses language-based artistic practice as a tool to investigate the inconsistencies and gaps in the current state of research on boredom from psychology, literary studies, history, and philosophy. Over its life span, the project develops a series of artworks, events and text that shed light on boredom’s place in art and culture, and its potential as a tool for renewal and change. 

Names of Supervisors: Dr Anna Notaro and Professor Andrew Roberts