We are all bored. We are bored on the endless steppes of social media, bored while waiting in front of the open bridge, bored by the daily routines of our work. Will we ever get bored of boredom so much that we give in? Will we allow ourselves to live in new bodies, to do what we really want, to distinguish between to-do and not-to-do?
But the culture of cool is also a culture of overwork. Carl Cederström and André Spicer, The Wellness Syndrome
This song should be the guardian music, playing low in the background during the first chapter.
A friend of a friend once told me an almost romantic story, of how she got stuck in a situation called ‘The bridge was open’. The sight of bikers and pedestrians collectively waiting in front of her, gave an insight in her future life situation. The sun was not shining, it was gloomy, and the bridge was open. ‘Fuck, not again, and why me?,’ were her classic thoughts. The situation would cause her to be 6 minutes late on her previously planned schedule. ‘Still better than 7, or 8,’ she thought. She joined the waiting crowd, positioning herself as close to the bridge as she could, to make sure her future presence elsewhere would be a few milliseconds less late.
In general, she considers herself quite experienced when it comes to this recurring situation. Sometimes, when she pays attention to other people waiting for the bridge to come down again, she tries to spot her soulmate, to stand next to them, and wait. She likes the quickly-gone thrill of looking someone straight in the eyes. Still, her overall impression of such occurrences is quite dull. When she doesn’t spot the soulmate, her waiting becomes boring, because everybody is fixatedly watching the red light. Really watching. This sad event takes only a few minutes, sometimes seconds, even though they always seem to last longer than that. The longer the wait, the more tense the situation. It’s like, everybody’s world is falling apart, including her own, a friend of a friend said. Some people give up and leave, but the true waiters, they wait.
When the bridge falls back to functioning as a bridge, everyone is ‘born ready’ to face reality again. A friend of a friend could finally continue her mission of reaching the supermarket nearby. She bought herself a bottle of sparkling water, so that she could cross it off of her weekly must-consume list, with a 4 minute and 23 second delay.
Avoiding the Void
You could be trapped in a boring situation and be bored, right now. It could be any situation, like waiting in the dentist’s waiting room, until it’s your turn to have your teeth checked, even though you know that everything is fine with them; or waiting for your food in a restaurant, while your companion is talking and talking and talking (and you have a reputation of being a good listener); or or or taking forever to make a decision about what shoes to wear today, until you start playing this game which is named by the name you forgot, a game which makes decisions for you.
Having nothing to do. You type the word boredom on Google, to see the definition, even though you know what it means. The word is synonymous with world-weariness, and a lack of crucial emotions, such as interest and enthusiasm. ‘Okay,’ you think, ‘okay.’ You read an exemplary sentence and find out what boredom may result in:
‘I’ll die of boredom if I live that long.’
About one hour later, it has been confirmed by your dentist that your teeth are in a fine condition; you’ve eaten the food you had long been waiting for; you kept your reputation of a very good listener; and you’re finally wearing two different shoes, thanks to the game which is named by the name you forgot, which made that decision for you.
One more hour, and you would have probably died.
Rewind. Go back in time some tens of thousands of years. Picture this happening:
There was a vast nature to survive and get bored of. And to fill in. And to fill up. Some tens thousands of years old us, you and I, did what we had to do, covered our bodies, made fire, hunted, built walls in order to protect ourselves from the vastness. And we kept on doing what we had to do, even when we didn’t have to do anything anymore. The bodies on constant move became restless.
And as we did more, we built more walls.
Within these walls, we found another void to fill. We assumed a desired position or a role, as an act of contribution towards filling up the void. The void turned into layers of walls around walls around the very first walls.
A lot of things happened in between that historical moment and the present. Suddenly, there are politicians for authoritative walls, profit beasts for corporate walls, husbands and wives for housing walls, doctors for healthcare walls, teachers for educational walls. And that’s the long story short.
Today and since a while, filling up the void means adding on top of everything we already filled it with. To make the long story short a bit longer:
Politicians, economic/government-issuers, social-issuers, national-security managers, international relation managers for authoritative walls; profit beasts, CEOs, COOs, presidents, CFOs, CMOs, CTOs for corporate walls; official husbands and wives and a dog for housing walls; doctors, surgeons, nurses, medical assistants, nursing assistants, physicians, pharmacy technicians for healthcare walls; teachers, deans, lecturers, special guests, workshop leaders for educational walls.
The longer-long-story-short becomes a bit longer still at this point:
Snickers maker, hairapist, space lawyer, extreme tutor, dolphinologist, professional gym client, paid party animal, alcohol detective, paper folder, cupcake scientist, anti-slip sock expert.
Quickly meet the Snickers Specialist in the image below. To further understand the architecture of how Rick got his position, check out this video which shows how Snickers is made. Forget about how it’s made and start the imagination from one Snickers bar. Zooming out of the image, pay attention to the factory, serving Snickers as is its home. The picture expands globally to $20.000.000, and although it’s an abstract value, think of how many Ricks are needed to follow the production globally, and how many other positions Snickers bars require, in order to be delivered professionally. (Who analyzes Snickers data? Who manages one factory? What about international relations? How many factories are there? Which one is of finest quality, etc…?)
We pick a character. This character then penetrates all aspects of life, from the way we eat to the way we love others. The separation between performing and living becomes diffuse, until the separation is gone.
To really understand and legitimize the chosen character, it is not only necessary to get an educational degree. It is also necessary to understand the physical and emotional consequences of choosing that character, the advantages and disadvantages of becoming that specific character, how the character relates to an individual’s surroundings, and what kind of relationship it will have with their dog.
Being ready to become a sock expert, an architect, or both is beneficial when it comes to avoiding the question whether becoming any character is really necessary in the first place.
What counts is your potential self, not your actual self. Carl Cederström and André Spicer, The Wellness Syndrome
Today and since a while, boredom is experienced and understood through the act of (unconsciously) avoiding it; by playing different characters on the front stage, getting bored of always having to perform in the spotlight and then falling into existential crisis, once we realize there is no audience watching, since all the others are equally occupied with the scenarios of their own shows.
Avoiding boredom of doing nothing at all in multiple different ways, just to avoid the monotony of avoiding in one single way, is what it all comes down to.
A friend of a friend works in a moderately small game development company. Being some sort of an assistant, her main tasks include interviewing newcomers and interns, and managing the vibes of the office. Full comfort is already there, in terms of location, space, needs. A friend of a friend just has to make sure that the office doesn’t feel like an office. Her less important and more occasional tasks include Skype-calling from home and travelling to America for business-training sessions. Her job is a 9-to-5 job and she loves it. When she goes home after finishing work, she cooks an often-vegetarian dinner for about half an hour and watches South Park or some other park on Netflix. This is the routine of a friend of a friend during the first four days of the week.
On Fridays after work, she starts drinking alcohol in the office. She drinks cocktails most of the time, then pays 15 euros to enter techno parties. When she grows bored of the Dutch weather and her lifestyle in Amsterdam, she moves her habits to another city. This happens as often as once a month and lasts for about one weekend. Missing out on the weekend in Amsterdam motivates her to come back. She travels home, which is abroad, for important dates of the year, to nourish family traditions. A friend of a friend is always happy, because she doesn’t have time to be anxious about her happiness.
Funnest of Funs
To lighten the weight of the labor that we invest in the performance of our characters, we enrich our lives with commodities we are told will make us feel better. When the hard work pays off and you deserve a treat, buy yourself an organic flapjack with a sticker that says ‘healthy’ on it. When you’re moody during work and need that extra kick to work harder, buy yourself a Snickers, eventually two.
Everything you look at has its price and is waiting to be chosen by your needs, which you sometimes fail to understand.
If Kenji Kawakami would not exist with an artistic public persona, but rather with that of a seriously convincing industrial designer, we would all be wearing his hay fever headsets today, due to many reasonable reasons.
The luxury of easy lifestyles tends to become boring and monotonous. We all know that, because we are all familiar with John Hodge’s life-changing text from Trainspotting.
And we all agree: no-one wants to do a thing like that. But we still do, sometimes not knowing why. It’s not about really wanting anymore. It’s about not being able to choose from the excess of possibilities and strawberry fields.
Our activity, then, is largery concerned with moral matters, but as performers we do not have a moral concern in these moral matters. As performers we are merchants of morality. Our day is given over the intimate contact with the good we display and our minds filled with intimate understandings of them; but it may well be that the more attention we give to these goods, the more distant we feel from them and from those who are believing enough to buy them. To use a different imagery, the very obligation and profitability of appearing always in a steady moral light, of being a socialized character, forces us to be the sort of person who is practiced in the ways of stage. Erving Goffman, The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life
Like in La Roux’s song on repeat mode, we are all searching for the thrill, just to feel something, anything. To be found in places full of amusement, pleasure, leisure, relaxation, fun, enjoyment, interest, refreshment, restoration, diversion, show, spectacle, hazard, risk, peril, or danger, depending on what fits best to our characters’ programmed principles.
Already thousands of years old us are now very active in presenting to others of the same kind, what is wanted and needed; or at least we are aware of neighbors’ presence and the fact that they might be looking at our process of living. Thanks to various social media platforms, we can design a desired image of our lives. The sum total of all enrichments adds up to one’s history and reputation, as well as new impressions, as well as future impressions.
It happens that, sometimes, the vibes we spread to our surroundings don’t really fit to the life principles we try to convince others that we follow. For instance, you could be known for having a great taste in Jazz music, but not for secretly enjoying Britney’s ‘Oops, I did it again.’ Or vice versa. For such cases, all kinds of self-help books on the topic of guilty pleasure may prove effective in learning to superficially understand our dishonest ways of living.
Ooops. And ouch.
Now imagine this song playing in the background.
A friend of a friend lost her father to cancer. Having suffered herself from depression after the loss, she discovered the endless library of self-help books. How to this and how to that, and how to not this and how to not that; all mainly connected to dealing with depression. Three years later, she found herself still depressed and more experienced with addictive habits. She decided to find her own way out, without the help of any books. A friend of a friend then replaced her unhealthy addictions with a healthy one called yoga. She took a training course of one year in order to become a yoga teacher, also known as a yogi. She has been living happily ever since.
In choosing which character to perform, we determine our individual surroundings. But because our chosen characters are shared by many. By linking many people together, the character exponentially improves the performance of individuals performing.
Basically, we are always in the right context. And if the context is not right, either the context has to be changed, or the performer has to improve and make the context right.
An individual who thinks and creates does so within a network of institutions (schools, theaters museums, libraries, etc.), technologies (books, electronic networks, computers, etc.), and sources of public and private financing; an individual immersed in traditions of thought and aesthetic practices – engulfed in a circulation of signs, ideas, and tasks – that force him or her to think and create. Maurizio Lazzarato, Signs and Machines: Capitalism and the Production of Subjectivity
In order to keep up with the common knowledge of local gardens (sometimes global gardens), we attend all kinds of happenings and events and exhibitions and parties and dinners, lunches, brunches during protest breaks… It’s crucial always to stay tuned, in order to prevent feeling excluded from that common knowledge.
Endless talking and engagement in discourse are some of the main tools in achieving a better tomorrow and a society which cares, especially when there’s nothing to be said. Using politics to rhetorically circumvent the real issue has proven to be an effective trick for maintaining the up-to-dateness of a character; a character which now has a crucial role in society, and is found in the constant process of transforming into human capital.
The fear of missing out on what will be talked about later, which would equal missing out on the big future, has its grip on our lives; anxiety is a harsh consequence for those who stay at home. That’s why we all need to go to the gym right now, and run through melancholic parks, and postpone unplanned fevers and colds.
And now this song should be playing in the background.
When familiar contexts, that is to say, the exhibitions and events and parties and dinners and shopping activities, become too familiar, they turn… dull. This is a phenomenon we try to counter by collaboration, whether it be shopping or working together. It is always nicer to experience surprises of life with others before they turn dull; think together, make together, solve together, struggle together.
Together together, until togetherness eventually founds a strong collective with a strong drive and a strong goal. Some begin for fun, until they turn dead serious and slightly revolutionary. Some begin with revolutionary seriousness until the mission ends up being just fun. And fun is not JUST fun, if it can be enjoyed fully, right?
While jumping from one happy house to another, it may sound like we are literally flying, and without wings. But technically, our bodies are still here and ever-present. They deliver everything they were meant to, from our to-do lists:
Send a few applications here and there, go to the supermarket, and do not forget to wash the dishes before going to sleep.
Before going to sleep, the nicest thrills are found when it’s time to cross out the things pretty much done. Once the things pretty much done are officially crossed and done, a reward comes, the realization that we managed to be heroes, mothers, friends, and detectives, all in one day. Isn’t that one hell of a party?
Yes it is, but it’s also rarely questioned, because being all at once (a hero, a mother, a friend, and a detective) makes us into very understanding human beings, let’s say, who are able to look at things from many different points of view. The bigger the scope of characters, the stronger the pragmatism. Therefore, reference points are numerous, it just really ‘depends on how you look at it’.
But when looking from different points of view for a long time, exhaustion wishes for 4D experience rooms (to experience how it feels to be human) to exist.
This party is not just a party, it is a really nice show we all participate in. We measure each other’s participation, even when we claim that we don’t care. And that’s why we are nice, to each other, expecting nice back, avoiding any glitch in the program. We say thank you and sorry all the time, then watch our bits of anger moving slowly beneath the carpet.
It is a state in which nothing exists apart from the repetitive pursuit of pleasure, where one is perfectly aware that something fundamental is missing, yet incapable of looking anywhere beyond the constant rush after indulgence. This produces a claustrophobic sense of boredom. Carl Cederström and Andre Spicer, The Wellness Syndrome
Is the physical body catching up with all the fun? When performance of distraction is the destination, feeling tired becomes a luxury most of us cannot afford. But when things to-do are not done, because there was not enough time to measure how much time they would take to get done, the performance of the character loses the self it started the performance with. It transforms into automatism. The only voice of the self in this case, is the one that reminds the self to perform the automatics:
‘Write ‘to do’ for the week, and don’t forget to wake up early tomorrow.’
This may be the point of a slowdown; a literal decline of a body’s speed, because we are simply incapable to shorten our steps during the run.
Let’s take a commercial break and let the information sink in for a bit…
Walky-Worky is a round table which the user can enter and work in, on, and with. In this way, it provides a table surface around its user, so that the user doesn’t leave the working space, until the things that have to be done, are pretty much done. Not only that, but it also makes a lot of other things within the user’s reach reachable; such as: a MacBook, a non-MacBook, liters of coffee, and other gadgets necessary to make the work more efficient. Walky-Worky’s single leg rests on one wheel, designed to support faster multi-task work. With Walky-Worky, sitting becomes a post-work reward, found outside of the table.
Poetically speaking, Walky-Worky is wearable work.
Seriously speaking, Walky-Worky does not abide to the rules of how it promotes itself to function. By trapping the workaholic (that is, everyone) in its space with the usage of its promotional powers, Walky-Worky truly aims to distract the workaholic from any serious work (contributing to neoliberalism rather than earning a living income), mainly computational work. The ideals behind Walky-Worky’s design become clear: too much time of a workaholic’s life is put into work, and work only. As much as Walky-Worky’s orange straps help the user carry one’s heavy work, they aim for the user to experience proper back pain and proper inability to concentrate. Walky-Worky supports the idea of not doing anything towards something, but rather just being. The idea of work should be questioned.
Poetically and seriously speaking; Walky-Worky allows you to get bored with, as much as it allows you to get bored of.
For more information, watch this video:
A friend of a friend once had fucking had it, just like Tomislav Gotovac in 1978. He wasn’t happy with his job, with the city he lived in, with the daily/monthly/yearly routine of his life. He decided that he was burning out. So, he arranged his burn-out holiday with his boss, making sure that he’d be able to come back and work after 6 months of travelling. He was legitimately excused from his performance duty (also known as contributing to society, also known as being nice). A friend of a friend took in 6 months of the world through the eyes of a spectator. He returned happy, and his boss was still nice and stayed true to his words.
Lows of Fun
Burn-outs, other outs, and catastrophes are great last-minute lessons to reach balance in one’s life. However experienced or lived through, they refresh us and teach us how to prevent them from happening again. Because, let’s face it, they consume quite some time.
After the burn-out ends, but not before it leaves a crucial mark on our personal histories, the loop of performance slowly spirals out again. Except, this time, we have the possibility to choose between repeating the same old loop and starting a new one from the spectator’s point of view.
Let’s imagine that we’ve entered the spectator’s zone now, and confusion is the first thing we face.
Confusion is caused by what is called doubt. It can also be called, for instance, a flower. There are these heavy little moments of existential experience, when confusion gets a chance to mingle with your mind, even though you are still on the go.
On the go, but not knowing where you’re actually going. Not knowing if everyone is depressed, or if it’s just you. You realize that if you’re a thinker, you’re a thinker; if you’re a waiter, you’re not a thinker. These kinds of moments.
The following story is of an imaginary friend of a friend. I’m not sure whether we have met, or if he’s really imaginary.
Right after high school, I knew I wanted to become a slightly professional sock expert, so I took a student loan in order to graduate from a well-ranked Socks University, far away from home. It hurt to leave my masters behind, and they were sad, but also fine with it, because my choice guaranteed income and happiness. It sounded healthy to me, and because of that the whole experience went quite smoothly. The advantages were many, but the main one was that I had to choose a specific direction within the field of socks education. I went for anti-slip studies. Anti-slip technology was not yet known to the market yet predicted to be in high demand in the near future. When I graduated, I cried a bit. It was hard to find a job in the beginning, but I managed to obtain a slightly professional position with some scientists in the city nearby. I have been mostly doing research on how not to slip during socks season, with the aim to prevent future deaths. We have saved many lives over the last 14 years. Meanwhile, I got myself a dog to love and to walk with. I named her Sleepy. Sleepy is not sleepy at all; in fact, she is an extraordinarily energetic dog. I made special anti-slip socks for her, as she is big and likes to run. But to my surprise, she seems to be fine without them. What did I do wrong? I read many books about it and tried to find the best solution, but nothing worked. I just want her to wear my anti-slip socks and be happy, so that I can be happy too. I can’t eat, I can’t sleep. Never have I questioned my career so much before. I liked socks as a kid, yeah, but I liked many other things the same. Besides, how did humanity even come to a point of needing not to slip while wearing socks during one season? Do they need socks at all? Or any piece of clothing? Can’t they all just walk naked? I’m going to call my mom right now, and tell her that I’m moving back home, because I’ve had it. And I’m taking Sleepy with me. My dear Sleepy, my biggest inspiration. She showed me the way out of this pretentious life situation, and helped me to see those scientists for pretentious pricks they are, trying to figure out the future, when there is no future. We are all doomed, it’s all one big emptiness, bla bla meh, I heard it all before, yet it was never so clear in my mind. I’m going to the office right now and tell them that I’ve had it. But first, I’m going to call my mom and tell her that I’m moving back. And I’m taking Sleepy with me. My dear Sleepy, were it not for her… I’m going to the office right now, to tell those pretentious pricks that I’ve had it and that I quit. As soon as I’m done talking with my mom on the phone, and explaining her that I’ve had it.
This is panic. Rush of emotions escalating into blockage. Blockage equaling to confusion, impossibility to think clearly, or make decisions. High speed of cars almost crashing into one another, causing the traffic jam. Traffic jam is stuckness. Impossibility to move away, or speed up the clearance.
Listen to this song while reading the last paragraphs of this chapter.
It’s like getting really drunk and then realizing that you don’t want to be drunk anymore, so you try to sober up by forcing yourself to puke. And then you either drink more or you don’t.
Is doubt, then, the hangover? Shall we allow ourselves to be hungover more often? Or shall we never drink anymore to the point where hangover is inevitable?
Let the song finish.
The attraction of illness lies in its capacity to redeem one of the greatest vices of our society: not doing anything. Carl Cederström and Andre Spicer, The Wellness Syndrome
Assumption of New Bodies
Doubt is an often-avoided space of mind, in which the transition of tradition has a potential to manifest itself. If there is anything that questions the shape of the soul, it is doubt in the body of a multi-performer.
A friend of a friend leads a double life, since he got inspired by his friend of a friend, who leads a triple life. Being 6 months here with these tasks, and 6 months there with those tasks, helps him balance the rage of monotony he used to face when he was having one life.
Would it be sensible to say that, soon, due to all this exhaustion, we will be able to consciously negate the structure of our lives and change the experience of our everyday towards reaching the boredom, the void, until we re-learn what is it that we really, really want to do, even if the desire equals to doing nothing at all?
To produce a new discourse, new knowledge, a new politics, one must traverse an unnamable point, a point of absolute non-narrative, non-culture, and non-knowledge. Theories of cognitive and cultural capitalism and the information society, which are supposed to be theories of innovation and creativity, fail precisely to conceive the process through which ‘creation’ and ‘innovation’ occur, for language, knowledge, information, and culture are largely insufficient to these ends. Maurizio Lazzarato, Signs and machines: Capitalism and the Production of Subjectivity
Furthermore, would it be sensible to say that our exhaustion is the consequence of following the tradition? Will exhaustion trigger the solution of bodily rebellion to present itself one day (in the near future)?
It is important to emphasize the existence of what makes the world go down, down, and round again (also known as capitalism), before any conclusion is drawn. The fact is that what-ifs are always multiple and there is no substitute to the world going down and round. Literally speaking, the globe spins on its axis, and this time has a numerical value we encounter every day of our lives.
While being sick and tired of the excessive you-name-it(s), we still haven’t died of boredom. Maybe we are not the exemplary ‘I’ from Google’s sentence, but, clearly, the walls are still around us, thicker than ever, and jobs are still available on the market we created. Performative characters are still plenty in number.
Authoritative walls will continue demanding more. Let’s pretend that it’s fine and that within all the craze and absurdity we live in, a change in our desires is becoming imaginable. Let’s pretend we move towards a desire that has nothing to do with today’s favorite purchase, ownership of tomorrow’s favorite purchase, and the ownership of total ownerships awaiting. This new desire has nothing to do with trying to fulfil one’s favorite political fictional character, or with making sure that everyone is nice and politically correct, or or or with living up to the expectations of a stranger’s gaze…
All these desires are invisible social structures created in order to suppress feeling lost in the void within. We choose to follow them in order to protect ourselves from that which will come. (That which comes is yet another structure made by us to prove us that we were either right or wrong.)
But once we get less excited about everything we have created for ourselves so far, our desire will turn inwards, making thrill-hunting less significant an activity. We will get less excited about everything we have created so far, once all branches of possibility have been exhausted, once we really start feeling like we know too much, once we get bored of overstimulating our precious brains.
Losing motivation is the moment of breaking the tradition, resulting in the denial of certain flows and communications. Losing motivation is a relief not yet commodified.
Let’s say that all I am saying is a sensible statement based on doubt, and that we are already in the process of entering an era of new mechanisms. Something happened in between then and now, but no one knows exactly what. We are far ahead of this time. Our grandparents will call us ‘new bodies with a fresh stimulus’.
What has to be educated, shaped, is the flesh itself, the flesh as mold of the spirit. Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia
New bodies are born without feeling much of the things that the previous soul was conditioned into feeling, such as emotions caused by exhaustion and impatience, or other feelings that came from doing things in order to get things done.
What it comes down to is this: in order for undesired emotions not to be felt, certain situations must be avoided. These emotions may not be given a chance to blossom and become the flower we must water. New skills of new bodies will not guide the bodies to go to sleep at 11 p.m., and wake up at 7 a.m., unless it be for the pleasure of seeing the sun and the world rise up.
New bodies will consider the option of saying ‘no’.
Let’s say, for the sake of the argument, that today’s mind knows ‘everything’ in theory, and ‘nothing’ in practice. In the near future, when the body negates certain actions, the mind will follow the body. It sounds very simple, but…
Of course, it might become the new automatism or a diagnosis of a behavior which takes care of itself on extreme levels. But if the new skills are undisturbed and truly engaged in a fine management of everyday lives, it will turn into a new, preferable discipline, which is exactly what is needed in order to bring back the lost soul.
The labor (leisure included) that we invest in our daily lives during what we now call Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, will be deliberately neglected, and the hardest labor we will have to perform will be (fixing) ourselves.
Instead of being too nice, we will be nice to ourselves. If today’s to-do lists are about getting tired of doing what we actually don’t want to do, for our upgraded beings, to-do lists will serve as reminders that the things we do are not necessarily the things we want to do: ‘Write ‘to do’ for the week and ‘to not’ for the week.’
The current wellness syndrome, in which commodities misguide us into thinking that we always need to feel good, will shift into a process of a thought-through decision making: is feeling good necessary? The decision might be accompanied by the right commodity for the occasion or not accompanied by a commodity at all.
A complete individual, an ever-changing mind, trained to shift the focus of limited time towards itself, will want to group up with similar minds and set the ambition into which passion is channeled freely. The ambition will be reached once the moment of collective passion is felt with the thundersome click of many brains thinking like one, and then nothing. Everything after, around, or beyond will be of less importance.
All known and existing theories will be overcome through the process of unlearning and there will be no new authenticity to strive for.
The leap to an improved system of thought or intellect necessary to reach a new reality will not take place, because the despair/new faith that triggers the leap will not be present. Nor needed. New bodies will know perfectly how to cope with a fresh reality and give themselves and their intellect time to evolve, rather than choosing the most suitable intellect to pursue.
The void for which we built all of this, the visible and invisible (caused by the visible), will not return to the form of vastness, but will be looked through, like through some transparent curtain drying up in the air. New bodies will be actively disengaged with all existing structures, since the existing structures will not magically disappear.
Let me phrase it more clearly: the body will take over the mind, until the mind is capable to cooperate with the body. The body will give enough time to the mind to adapt and agree with the body.
Furthermore, new bodies will be actively engaged in the practice of boredom, a state in which time is not contained in a Tupperware box created by the human brain, a state in which having full control over one’s life is not what gives the mind its rest, a state in which mental exhaustion is prevented before it occurs, a state in which no discounted distraction is given a chance to shape the soul.
Training oneself how to do nothing will provide time to formulate one’s own opinion, rather than to pick an opinion like picking one strawberry on one of the strawberry fields. Boredom will become a space of deliberate non-work, in which education is enjoyed, rather than done for the sake of coding our own websites and promoting ourselves as commodities.
Society does not need more work, more jobs, more competition. On the contrary: we need a massive reduction in work-time, a prodigious liberation of life from social factory, in order to reweave the fabric of the social relation. Ending the connection between work and revenue will enable a huge release of energy for social tasks that can no longer be conceived as a part of economy and should once again become forms of life. Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi, The Soul at Work
Boredom might become a luxurious asset, but more on that later.
Back to new bodies and a conclusion: new bodies are the wanderers looking out of the windows, sighing, looking at each other, and making their own flapjacks.
Farewell, with this song tuning in and out.
Maisa Imamović graduated in Architectural Design at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy. She is a questionably experienced architect, designer, photographer, writer, researcher, filmmaker, and artist, currently on a mission to become a web developer. Her future looks like a dubious love triangle of coding, writing, and art/design.
Franco Bifo Berardi, The Soul at Work: From Alienation to Autonomy, Semiotext(e), 2009.
Carl Cederström and André Spicer, The Wellness Syndrome, Polity Press, 2015.
Erving Goffman, The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, Anchor Books, 1959.
Maurizio Lazzarato, Signs and machines:Capitalism and the Production of Subjectivity, Semiotext(e), 2014.
Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, Penguin Classics, 2009.