Consciously doing nothing

by Daniel Parnitzke


This work is about “consciously doing nothing”. The aim was to find a shape for an object which helps the mind to focus. The project visualises the process I went through with various models and experiments. During the project I learned a lot about myself and coping in daily life with a deeper presence.


We live in a time of plentiful stimuli. We suffer from information overload and yet yearn for peace and self-discovery. Cultural norms and a competitive economic system define the meritocracy we participate in.

We perceive waiting and doing nothing as wasted time. We have to distinguish between negative unused time (boredom) and positive unused time (deliberate idleness).

If we consciously decide to do nothing, to enjoy the view, to listen to music, to pursue an idea, then this time is used positively. Doing nothing bears value only if it occurs consciously and actively. We gain a greater awareness of our time, our bodies and our minds. We learn to deal with our time in better ways.


I discovered this relevant problem myself and have been dealing intensively with its causes and consequences. Thus I embarked on the process of finding shapes for objects which help the mind to focus.

During my project I went through a learning process about myself and coping in daily life. The process is reflected in various experiments and works.ausstellungsplattform_mittel

The exhibition platform was designed as a metaphor of my process, which over time went ever deeper into the topic. The objects are arranged from right to left starting with the causes of my research up on top, and ending with the objects that emerged out of that process some layers below.


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The works differ in material and shape, as they are the outcome of different stages of my thoughts on doing nothing. The shapes emerged out of a basic idea of a shape. The objects should help you to focus only and totaly on the object, through haptics, shape and interaction.

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The installation includes two short looped movies and a sound recording. The sound recording gives a short insight in my surrounding in that time. The first video shows me facing a candle for 45 minutes without doing anything else. The last video is a comparison of a view on me and my own view while sitting and doing nothing.

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