When was the last time you found yourself zoning out while studying, or staring at an interesting blank wall while writing that lengthy report at work, or just concentrating on that one piece of spiral pasta while your girlfriend bored the fuck out of you at dinner? Just… do nothing?
We’re not the only ones, and we certainly won’t be the last. But what if we could compete in… zoning out? Make it a sport, and win prizes?
South Korea has done it. They have made a competitive sport out of doing absolutely nothing. And the sport is very aptly termed the ‘Annual Space Out Competition.’
WoopsYang, a visual artist, created this event back in 2014, saying that people are overworking themselves a hell of a lot. In a country where stress levels are at a disturbingly high level, WoopsYang stresses the importance of taking a break. Speaking on how she came to think of this idea, she says,
The event is 90 minutes long, and contestants aren’t allowed any devices, neither can they sleep. They just have one goal – do nothing!
The main aim of the competition is, in all sense of the phrase, literally, “spacing out.” Contestants who start laughing all of a sudden, or check the time, or even doze off, will be disqualified. Heart rates of contestants are checked every 15 minutes, and the winner is the one with the most consistently stable heart rate. Commentators are also present on site to provide narration of the event to onlookers.
Since WoopsYang is a visual artist, she also sees this competition as a kind of performance art. “The best way to view this competition is from one of the surrounding tall buildings, looking down. You’ll be able to see a small patch of stillness amidst all the hectic movement.”
She prefers to hold this competition during a busy period of the day in a busy part of town, like a public park, or town hall.
While a large number of people sign up to be part of this event every year, its importance has to be stressed to make it international.