“A way of looking, thinking, talking, and listening that is rare and precious and good for the soul in a million ways.”

We live in an “Attention Economy,”
a trillion-dollar industry that seeks to monetize our every waking moment
and “frack” human eyeballs for commercial gain.

In a world where ATTENTION, our most precious human asset,
is bought and sold by powerful and often invisible actors, and where
technological change has outpaced our ability to adapt to changing social conditions,
we find ourselves with ever-fewer tools and spaces to collectively imagine
the world we wish to inhabit.

In response, we, the Friends of Attention,
an underground network of creatives, educators and actual friends who share an interest
in the puzzles and promises of the attentive mind and the directed senses,
present to you the…

✺ ✺ ✺

our work to devise, recover, activate and share
forms of radical human attention
that are resistant to commodification

Click HERE to watch a series of mini-documentaries reporting on the results of previous Labs at the American Academy of Arts and Letters, NYC. Lab #1 was with students from College of Mount Saint Vincent (CMSV) and Lab #2 with high schoolers from Democracy Prep.

What are the Attention Labs?
☞ community-based/open-public, youth/adult-oriented workshops
☞ spaces for exploration and experimentation
☞ a non-profit project, free of charge

What do we do at the Labs?
✎ have conversations and engage in experimental practices in
the power, beauty and potential of human attention
under the guidance of attention activists, artists and scholars

What for?
✽ empower attentional agency
✽ engage attentional resources through practice
✽ encourage historical and critical analysis of attention
in order to
bring forth the astonishing reality of things and persons
thereby creating a more humane, compassionate and empowered future

Still from film-in-progress by Claudia Claremi

Past Labs:

Democracy Prep and Mount Saint Vincent Labs
American Academy of Arts and Letters
Manhattan, NY
March and April 2022

Mount Saint Vincent Lab
Mount Saint Vincent Lab
Mount Saint Vincent Lab

Monira Foundation Lab
Jersey City, NJ
30 July 2022

Monira Lab

“I feel like I am leaving with my attention primed, and in tune with myself in the present moment.”

“It helped me re-frame my thinking around the things that are important to me.”

“It was highly generative, and it facilitated an opening up of attention — a stepping back from the ‘ruts’ in my attentional landscape, ruts carved by the imperative to ‘produce.’”

East Harlem Lab
Agile Learning Center NYC
6 Aug 2022

East Harlem Lab

Sanctuaries of Attention
Bennington College, VT
2 Oct 2022

Bennington Lab: Sanctuaries of Attention
Bennington Lab: Sanctuaries of Attention

Amplify Lab
Brooklyn, NY
18 Oct 2022

Amplify Lab: Exhausting a Place in Brooklyn

Monira Lab #2
Jersey City, NJ
13 Nov 2022

In partnership with Katharina Gruzei
and participating artists of Right Time, Right Place

Monira Lab: Right Time, Right Place
Monira Lab: Right Time, Right Place

Seattle Labs
Beacon Hill Library, WA
11 Jan & 18 Jan 2022

Seattle Labs

Jersey City Lab #1
Priscilla Gardner Main Library, NJ
Feb 11th, 2023

Jersey City Public Library Lab #1
Jersey City Public Library Lab #1
Jersey City Public Library Lab #1

Jersey City Lab #2
Priscilla Gardner Main Library, NJ
Thursday, Feb 23rd, 2023

Jersey City Public Library #2
Jersey City Public Library Lab #2

Attention Labs “Test Kitchen
520 8th Ave, 3rd Floor, Manhattan
18 March 2023
3pm — 5:30pm

The inaugural “Test Kitchen” was a collaborative workshop dedicated to the development and implementation of new Practices of Attention. Participants experimented with scripts, guided exercises, manuals, choreographies, poems and other media as diverse forms of “structured experience.” Through discussions and group activities, we explored the use of attentional practices in activist organizing, mediation, facilitation and the creation of social change. Our efforts produced over a dozen new Practices of Attention, to be published on our site shortly.

Upcoming Events:

Monira Foundation Lab #3
Mana Contemporary, Jersey City
25 March 2023
2pm — 5pm

Milcom Memorial Reading Room

for upcoming Labs