{ Langeweile }


The German word for boredom, Langeweile, could be literally translated to ‘long while’, connoting that we perceive time to be passing more slowly when we are bored. The opposite state is found in the outdated term Kurzweil (‘short while’)–a light pastime–in which you experience time passing quickly because you are entertained.
What is it that we are trying so hard to distract ourselves from? Do we lose something by ‘wasting’ less time and surrendering ourselves to computational thinking, by succumbing to the orders of algorithms that systematically aim to banish our boredom for us?
What would happen if we resisted the call of the devices and embraced the feeling of Langeweile, that uncomfortable sensation of feeling time passing more slowly? Or, as Vanessa Joan Müller and Cristina Ricupero put it, “but what would happen if ‘doing nothing’ or ‘inaction’ were to become a source of inspiration for a refusal to produce”?3 Could an occasional lack of rapid-fire stimulation help us process all the many-sourced inputs, and become in itself a site for knowledge production? Should ‘free’, unencumbered and unaccounted-for time away from screens be a given basic right for all?


Matilda Tucker