REAL LIFE

Be the best at doing absolutely nothing

This competition in South Korea awards first place to the person who is best at not doing a single thing.
JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images

The rules seem simple. Do nothing. And that is what residents of the South Korean capital Seoul have been doing for 2 years now in the annual Space Out Competition.

With their numbers pinned to their shirts like marathon runners, 70 athletes sit down without their phones, watches or any other distractions and stay still for an hour and half. Every 15 minutes their pulse is checked, and at the end whoever has stayed calmest, longest, wins.

The competition is the brainchild of South Korean artist, WoopsYang. South Koreans live some of the most hectic lives in the modern world – and she was caught up in it. ‘I was suffering from burnout syndrome at the time,’ she told VICE, but spending any time not being productive was extremely stressful. The Space Out Competition was the solution. ‘I thought to myself, We would all feel better about doing nothing if we did nothing together as a group.’

The first event was held in 2014 in Seoul, and WoopsYang hopes to expand her ‘most-chilled’ competition worldwide. This year’s winner? Korean R&B singer Crush. ’I did not know I was going to win,’ the singer told the Korea Times. “I was just spacing out without thinking of anything. It was a great time to rest my mind and body.”

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