Attention Labs

“A profoundly personal experience that at the same time connects you with others and creates a community you will not expect …”


ATTENTION LABS are non-profit, community-based, youth-oriented workshops that focus on the power, beauty, and potential of human attention. Click here for a series of short videos with more information.

Why are they important?

Across 2020-2022, $12.5 TRILLION dollars are being spent on information technology that will better frack and hack our attention. This is the heart of the “Attention Economy,”
and it has profound implications for our lives — as individuals, as communities, as dwellers on this planet. Facing this remarkable challenge/opportunity, ATTENTION LABS aim to:

  1. Empower attentional AGENCY;
  2. Engage attentional resources through PRACTICE; and
  3. Encourage historical and critical ANALYSIS of attention.

The hope? A better world!

Who is running them?

The Friends of Attention is a loose, informal network of artists, educators, activists, and others, in the US and elsewhere, who share an interest in ATTENTION — the puzzles and promises of the focused mind and directed senses. Collaborating volunteers teach at College of Mount Saint Vincent (CMSV), Princeton, Wesleyan, Yale, and other universities.

How do they work?

We run Labs that focus on youth, ages 16 to 24, as well as adult-oriented programs. The standard format is a week of half-day sessions. Participants usually receive a small stipend to help support their engagement.

When are they happening?

We have labs coming up THIS SUMMER in and around NYC! Get in touch (email below) for more information!

Where do they take place?

We have run Labs in upper Manhattan (at the American Academy of Arts and Letters), and we are currently expanding our programming to offer Labs in Jersey City (through the Monira Foundation), and elsewhere. Get in touch for more information!

How do I learn more? How do I apply?

Contact our project director, Marcus Ryan, at, or fill out our RSVP form for the upcoming July Labs here.