Let’s enjoy just thinking nothing!
With that announcement, the third annual “Space-Out Competition” took place recently in Seoul, South Korea, to find the person who could sit with a blank stare the longest while maintaining a slow but discernible heartbeat – dead and comatose individuals not eligible.
Before you dismiss it as a frivolity, this was a serious competition with qualifying rounds to weed out the 60 best (out of 1,500 entrants) at being completely relaxed and stone-faced for 90 minutes. The rules are tough – no dozing off or falling asleep; no checking cell phones or even watches; no talking whatsoever. Qualified medical experts visited the participants every 15 minutes to measure their heartbeats. The winner would be the person who followed all of the rules, remained spaced out for the full 90 minutes and sustained the steadiest heartbeat.
The winners of the qualifying rounds received their numbers and sat on the grass in a park. Temperatures reached 30C (86F) in bright sunlight so they were allowed to hold parasols or have someone hold it if they were too spaced-out to grip the handle.
The finalists ranged in age from an elementary school student to an elderly man and included a businesswoman, a graduate student researcher in cardiology and a singer. Place your bets now.
The “Space-Out Competition” was started in 2014 by an artist named Ms. Oops who conceived it as both a contest and a way to show the creative benefits of zoning out.
Modern day people who use smartphones 24/7 are overworking their brains. I wanted this competition to be a public performance that shows resting our brains or being spaced-out is not just a waste of time but can also result in something more productive.
Who won? Who won? You need to chill out.
South Korea seems like the perfect place to hold this type of chill-out contest. It’s considered to be one of the world’s most wired countries – studies have found that people there average four hours a day on their phones and 15% are considered to be smartphone addicts.
Who was chosen Superstar of Spaced-Outedness? Shin Hyo-Seob, a local R&B rapper who performs as Crush, won the coveted glass trophy. Here’s part of his acceptance speech:
I was so exhausted physically and mentally while preparing an album, so I just wanted to relax for a while. This event is highly recommended for those who have migraines or complicated thoughts.
A rock singer with complicated thoughts? How unusual!
Do you know anyone who might challenge Crush in the international spaced-out competition?
If this spaced-out contest was held in the U.S., it would have to be called American Idle.