Strategies of Thought : Heidegger on Boredom

The Strategies of Thought lecture series started off this week with Heidegger on Boredom. Having not really read much of this style of writing, and absolutely no Heidegger, before it took me several goes to get through the reading for the lecture. Heidegger repeats, reworks and questions throughout his writing in order to look at the subject from different angles, and doesn’t draw final conclusions. This questioning, reworking and lack of conclusion is a mode of thinking that could well be applied to working through MA practice, as the process can often be of more value than the finished product.

Heidegger’s thoughts on the relationship between time and boredom struck a particular chord with me as I often feel like I am marking time and filling time in order to avoid any feelings of boredom. I could do well to learn to let boredom resonate and enjoy the potential of boredom, but I admit this is very unlikely to happen.

The aspect of boredom that I feel applies most to my own practice is the moral aspect of boredom. Through discussion in the Strategies of Thought seminar I began to think more about class and the morality of boredom in an industrial society which values activity in order to maintain a productive workforce. I feel these class aspects relate to class and craft as, in the past, skill in embroidery signaled a leisurely, upper class lifestyle, while other kinds of craft were pursued by lower class women who used these skills to make and sell clothing. Today, I think the societal pressure to be busy and productive plays some part in the revival of craft as a hobby as people look for ways to fill their increased leisure time without the guilt of feeling ‘lazy’.

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