On Boredom (and Church)

I had the pleasure of hearing Genevieve Bell speak at the Design Extravaganza in Austin a week ago, and her talk blew me away. She wove together a narrative about the history of our Terminator-style “machines will kill us!” fear. Along the way, she revealed the value of an anthropological approach in upending the cultural assumptions we bring to addressing problems and identified several changes that lead to socio-technological anxiety. (I’ll post a link when the video comes online.)

Anyway, with her talk still poking around in my brain, I went to watch her TEDx Sydney talk from a year ago. In that presentation, Bell lifts up the value of boredom.

Sidebar: I must say, her speech was particularly convicting as I watched it on my laptop…while eating dinner…and attempting to ignore the nagging thoughts about a couple freelance projects, two final presentations, and a diagram that I need to create before the first quarter at AC4D wraps up on Saturday. (Oh, and I’m also working with my team to frame up next quarter’s research projects so we can submit proposals to get access to some area schools…)

Near the end, she offers an example of a church in Korea and suggests that church can offer a place where people have a different relationship to time and space. I’d suggest watching the talk in full, and I’d love to hear your take on her proposition.

One thought on “On Boredom (and Church)”

  1. I’m way late to the party, but this post is great. Bell’s thoughts on boredom are so interesting, and her ‘prescription’ ought to get her fired from Intel…where things are designed to stay in people’s hands and at the forefront of their attention.

    I want to know what she’d say, and what you might say that boredom does for us. This is an ironic question, because perhaps the answer is nothing. Boredom produces nothing in our lives? I’m not sure. I have some ideas, but I’m not sure…

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