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Doing Nothing Is Now a Sport in South Korea

Are you an expert at doing nothing? If so, time to make a beeline straight to South Korea,where looking off into space has become a sport.

Vice recently took a trip to the South Korean capital to cover the country’s annual Space Out Competition, which crowns winners based on a participant’s ability to stare off into space without losing focus. The event is the brainchild of visual artist WoopsYang, who saw a need to give busy urbanites the opportunity to take a mental break.

The competition started in 2014 and has since evolved into a serious affair, complete with a panel of judges and qualifying rounds.

WoopsYang told Vice that in the most recent competition, 2,000 applicants applied for only 70 slots. The online magazine went on to break down the competition:

“During the 90-minute-long event, contestants are banned from doing anything other than spacing out. If you fall asleep, start laughing or use technology, you're disqualified. Contestants' heart rates are checked every 15 minutes to ensure that they are in a state of chill; the person with the most stable heart rate wins. There's a live sportscaster who narrates the event to onlookers. If contestants feel discomfort – say, if someone gets thirsty or needs to use the bathroom – they can hold up one of several cards to make a request.”

The artist hopes to make her competition a global phenomenon, and to that end, launched a similar event in Beijing last year, drawing around 80 contestants.

If you’re wondering if there’s an artistic component to the event, indeed there is. Participants are invited to wear their work outfits to demonstrate that anyone can become burned out and could benefit from some time looking off into space.

[Top photo via Vice]


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