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Distributed for UCL Press

On Boredom

Essays in Art and Writing

Distributed for UCL Press

On Boredom

Essays in Art and Writing

An idiosyncratic volume featuring artwork and essays on the history of boredom.

What do we mean when we say that we are bored? Contributors to this volume, which include artists, art historians, psychoanalysts, and a novelist, examine boredom in its manifold and uncertain reality. Each part of the book takes up a crucial moment in the history of boredom and presents it in a new light, taking the reader from the trials of the consulting room to the experience of hysteria in the nineteenth century. The book pays particular attention to boredom’s relationship with the sudden and rapid advances in technology that have occurred in recent decades, specifically technologies of communication, surveillance, and automation. On Boredom is idiosyncratic for its combination of image and text, and the artworks included in its pages—featuring Mathew Hale, Martin Creed, and Susan Morris—help turn this volume into a material expression of boredom itself. It will appeal to readers in the fields of art history, literature, cultural studies, and visual culture.

166 pages | 51 color plates | 6 1/4 x 9 1/4

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Table of Contents

List of figures

Introduction: on boredom
Rye Dag Holmboe & Susan Morris
1. Where is the rule?
Rye Dag Holmboe
2. Prayer and other lyrics and drawings
Martin Creed
3. Twenty years of boredom
Susan Morris
4. There was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour
Mathew Hale
5. Extract from Satin Island (2015)
Tom McCarthy
6. Creative boredom and Thomas Demand
Margaret Iversen
7. Professionally boring: the psychoanalyst’s tragedy
Anouchka Grose
8. Warhol’s indifference
Josh Cohen 9. Yawns of boredom
Briony Fer 10. The long and the short of It: boredom Michael Newman

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