Institute for Sustained Attention Institute for Sustained Attention

Institute for Sustained Attention

Institute for Sustained Attention is creating a space to bring together a community of young thinkers, leaders, and humans dedicated to the practice and dissemination of radical human attention. 


Advancing Community-Based Attention Activism

Institute for Sustained Attention

In 2018, the 33rd Sao Paulo Art Biennial in Brazil commissioned Princeton University Professor D. Graham Burnett to co-curate an art project on the "Practices of Attention."  A three-day international public symposium was the result, bringing together more than fifty international artists, scientists, critics, writers, and scholars.  These artists and intellectuals engaged in an interdisciplinary inquiry of collective reading, writing, and interventions to explore and respond to one of the major issues of our time: attention.

In the wake of this gathering, Professor Burnett and several dozens artists, scholars, and activists gathered under the auspices of the non-profit Institute for Sustained Attention. Their aim? To focus directly on the "politics of attention" and, through community workshops and curricular projects, to cultivate forms of radical human attention resistant to commodification - modes of attention capable of evading the intensified dynamics of monetization and financialization characteristic of our "attention economy." The ambition? A more humane, compassionate, just, and empowered future. 

To this end, Professor Burnett and his colleagues have developed a series of "Attention Labs": experiential workshops dedicated to the practice and dissemination of radical human attention. These "Attention Labs" will define the future of attentional activism and identify precious forms of shared human existence, focusing in particular on the creation of "sanctuary" spaces where powerful questions can be examined: the spiritual and physical survival of individuals; the care of the shared earth; the core work of living with each other in just communities. All of this is inextricable from shared attention, and it is for this reason that the Institute for Sustained Attention works to mobilize and sustain a new generation of attentional justice seekers. 

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