kottke.org posts about James Ward

The most interesting boring people in the worldSep 03 2014

James Ward runs the Boring Conference ("a one-day celebration of the mundane, the ordinary, the obvious and the overlooked -- subjects often considered trivial and pointless, but when examined more closely reveal themselves to be deeply fascinating") and writes in the Guardian about some of the people he's met who fascinated by the mundane.

"How should we take account of, question, describe what happens every day and recurs every day?" asks the French writer Georges Perec in his 1973 essay on the "infra-ordinary" (his word for everything that's the opposite of "extraordinary"). Perec challenges us to question the habitual. "But that's just it, we're habituated to it. We don't question it, it doesn't question us, it doesn't seem to pose a problem, we live it without thinking, as if it carried within it neither question nor answers, as if it weren't the bearer of any information."

Perec's point is that everything contains information. It's just that, sometimes, it takes a bit of work to notice it. These days, an audience and a platform can be found for even the most niche interests, as people demonstrate that nothing is truly boring - not if you look at it closely enough.

(via mr)


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