On Boredom

Essays in art and writing

Edited by Rye Dag Holmboe and Susan Morris


ISBN: 9781787359475

Publication: April 22, 2021

What do we mean when we say that we are bored? Or when we find a subject boring? Contributors to On Boredom: Essays in art and writing, 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 – by Mathew Hale, Martin Creed and Susan Morris – help turn this volume into a material expression of boredom itself. With other contributions from Josh Cohen, Briony Fer, Anouchka Grose, Rye Dag Holmboe, Margaret Iversen, Tom McCarthy and Michael Newman, the book will appeal to readers in the fields of art history, literature, cultural studies and visual culture, from undergraduate students to professional artists working in new media.

Rye Dag Holmboe is Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at UEA.

Susan Morris is an artist interested in the relation between automatic drawing, writing and photography.

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


Format: Paperback

Size: 234 × 156 mm

166 Pages

51 colour illustrations

Copyright: © 2021

ISBN: 9781787359475

Publication: April 22, 2021

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