On Space

Boredom, Architecture and Modernity

Tag: Space

Len Lye’s Particles Producing Space

Lye, Len (1979) Particles in Space.

Lord Byron’s Bores and Bored

Our ridicules are kept in the back-ground –
Ridiculous enough, but also dull;
Professions too are no more to be found
Professional; and there is nought to cull
Of folly’s fruit: for, though your fools abound,
They’re barren and not worth the pains to pull.
Society is now one polish’d horde,
Form’d of two mighty tribes, the Bores and Bored.

Byron, George Gordon (1986/1819-24) The Complete Poetical Works. Edited by Jerome J. McGann. Oxford – UK: Clarendon Books.

Boringness is not Boredom

Boringness is not boredom




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Joseph Brodsky’s Boredom: Dodging the Redundancy of Time

As for poverty, boredom is the most brutal part of its misery, and the departure from it takes more radical forms: of violent rebellion or drug addiction. Both are temporary, for the misery of poverty is infinite; both, because of that infinity, are costly. In general, a man shooting heroin into his vein does so largely for the same reason you buy a video: to dodge the redundancy of time. The difference, though, is that he spends more than he’s got, and that his means of escape become as redundant as what he is escaping from faster than yours. On the whole, the difference in tactility between a syringe’s needle and a stereo’s push button roughly corresponds to that between the acuteness and dullness of time’s impact upon the have-nots and the haves. In short, whether rich or poor, sooner or later you will be afflicted by this redundancy of time.


In a manner of speaking, boredom is your window on time, on those properties of it one tends to ignore to the likely peril of one’s mental equilibrium. In short, it is your window on time’s infinity, which is to say, on your insignificance in it. That’s what accounts, perhaps, for one’s dread of lonely, torpid evenings, for the fascination with which one watches sometimes a fleck of dust swirl in a sunbeam, and somewhere a clock tick-tocks, the day is hot, and your will-power is at zero.

Brodsky, Joseph (1996) ‘In Praise of Boredom’ in On Grief and Reason. New York, NY – USA: Farrar Straus Giroux. 107, 109

Distancing Boredom: Houses Keep Apart


To whom should one give
a drop of indolent
humanity’s weeping?

A life’s mercy

Houses keep apart
not to disturb me

Thread of moist heat at the neck

of sauntering odalisques with parasol

How immovable is the air

The litany of numbers on closed doors
that I follow to accompany me

This night too will pass

This gadding life
Faltering shadow of trolley car wires
on the dank asphalt

I gaze at moon-faces of hack drivers wavering

Sleep comes
so cautiously
for a moment to take me away

Ungaretti, Giuseppi (1961) ‘Boredom’ in The Transatlantic Review , No. 7. New York – USA: Joseph F. McCrindle Foundation. 13-14