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How to do nothing

How to do nothing

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    April 30, 2019

HOW To Perform ABSOLUTELY NOTHING
Withstanding the Attention Economy
By Jenny Odell

In 2015, Jenny Odell began a company she called The Bureau of Suspended Objects. Odell was then an artist-in-residence at a waste operating station in San Francisco. As the sole worker of her bureau, she photographed things that had actually been thrown away and discovered their histories. (A bird-watcher, Odell gets along with a set of crows that sit outside her home window; offered her skill for scavenging, you question whether they have actually shared suggestions.)

Odell’s very first book, “How to Do Absolutely nothing: Withstanding the Attention Economy,” echoes the technique she took with her bureau, developing a collage (or possibly it’s a compost pile) of concepts about removing from life online, constructed out of scraps gathered from artists, theorists, critics and authors. In the book’s very first chapter, she says that she discovers things that currently exist “considerably more fascinating than anything I might perhaps make.” Summoning the concepts of others, she goes on to build a complex, enthusiastic and wise book that at very first checks out like a self-help handbook, then blooms into a comprehensive political manifesto.

Though trained as an artist, Odell has actually slowly ended up being understood for her writing. Her constant style is the intrusion of the larger world by web grotesqueries grown in the hazardous slime of Amazon, Instagram and other social networks platforms. She has a propensity for stimulating the despair that originates from feeling surrounded by online things. Like a lot of us, she wishes to avoid that sensation.

Odell recommends that she has actually done this, semi-successfully, by striking a position of public rejection and by re-training her attention to concentrate on her environments. She argues that since the web strips us of our local color and time, we can counter its force by resituating ourselves within our physical environment, by ending up being better to the natural world.

Much of the chapters in “How to Do Absolutely nothing” include Odell systematically setting out a concept that’s essential to her approach. Amongst the most crucial is rejection, which she clearly shows through a range of disciplines. Rejection, she composes, was exhibited by the Greek thinker Diogenes, whose life’s work was to mention the absurdity of conformity. Rejection was likewise the staple act of Melville’s Bartleby, among Odell’s preferred refuseniks (she appreciates the sparkle of his stock expression: “I would choose not to”). And rejection was the essential act carried out in 1934 by a longshoremen’s union that resulted in a strike that spread out from the Bay Location to ports throughout the West Coast.

Odell acknowledges and comprehends that not doing anything– by which she implies taking time out of one’s day to take part in an activity without thinking about whether it’s efficient– isn’t something that’s offered to everybody. Her book is least convincing when she recommends that significant political modification would follow if the techniques she has actually embraced were taken up en masse. She acknowledges that she’s fortunate to be able to work out the liberty to while away the hours in her preferred increased garden or to go bird-watching, Odell appears to overlook simply how individualistic her techniques are. She lives a creative life, one that provides itself splendidly to visual expression however is less helpful in the political world.

And yet Odell’s book, which matches other current nonfiction, consisting of Shoshanna Zuboff’s “The Age of Monitoring Commercialism” and Michael Pollan’s “How to Modification Your Mind,” has the possible to enhance a reader’s habits. Just recently, on a brief holiday in Miami, I captured myself placing on my earphones as I set out to check out the city on foot. I left them behind and found something charming: Birdsong was all over.

Jenny Odell

Complimentary shipment throughout Australia

A Barack Obama preferred book of the year 2019
New York City Times Bestseller

A galvanising review of the forces competing for our attention– and our individual details– that redefines what we consider efficiency and exposes what we have actually been too sidetracked to see about ourselves and our world.

Absolutely nothing is more difficult to do nowadays than absolutely nothing. In a world where our worth is identified by our information efficiency, doing absolutely nothing might be our most crucial kind of resistance.

So argues artist and critic Jenny Odell in this guidebook to decreasing. Odell sees our attention as the most valuable– and overdrawn– resource we have. When we can begin paying a brand-new type of attention, we can carry out bolder types of political action, reimagine humankind’s function in the environment, and reach a more significant understanding of joy and fulfilment.

Far from a basic anti-technology screed, How to Do Absolutely Nothing is an action prepare for believing beyond capitalist stories of performance and worth. Intriguing, prompt, and absolutely convincing, it reveals us how to maintain our inner lives and cause alter in a world that requires this more than ever.

How to do nothing

Jenny Odell is an artist and author who teaches at Stanford University and has actually been an artist-in-residence at Facebook, the Web Archive and the San Francisco Preparation Department, to name a few. She shows her art all over the world, and lives …

More about Jenny Odell

Release date: 5 Nov 2019

RRP: $2999

Paperback ISBN: 9781760641795

eISBN: 9781743821213

Imprint: Black Inc.

Format: Paperback

Size: 210 x 135 mm

Level: 256 pp

Release date: 5 Nov 2019

RRP: $2999

Paperback ISBN: 9781760641795

eISBN: 9781743821213

Imprint: Black Inc.

Format: Paperback

Size: 210 x 135 mm

Level: 256 pp

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Evaluations for How to Do Absolutely Nothing

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‘ A manifesto for the web age.’ — The A.V. Club

‘ A stimulating meditation on methods of seeing and being more present … It’s a book that might alter you for the much better.’– LitHub

‘[Odell] wishes to offer readers approval to be a human, in a body, in a location.’– The Guardian

‘ Thoughtful, engaging, and useful.’– GQ

‘ Engaging, confident and intriguing– a roadmap for stillness and reflection in an age of diversion.’– Jill Stark, author of Delighted Never Ever After and When You’re Not OKAY

‘ Self-help for the jointly minded, How to Do Absolutely Nothing is as ethically severe and thoughtful as it is enjoyable to check out. This book will alter how you see the world.’– Malcolm Harris, author of Kids Nowadays

‘ Your disorderly, laden internal weather condition isn’t a mishap, it’s an organisation design, and while “thoughtful resistance” isn’t “efficient”, Odell shows that it is absolutely essential.’– Cory Doctorow, author of Radicalized and Walkaway

‘ In a media and tech community all at once consumed with “digital detox” and constructing individual brand names, How to Do Absolutely Nothing is a breath of fresh air grounding readers in the complex, synergistic real communities of the real world. Jenny Odell composes with exceptional clearness and empathy.’– Ingrid Burrington, author of Networks of New York City

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‘ Braids threads of ancient approach together with modern visual and technological culture, and weaves an initial path to re-wilding the mind. Erudite and comprehensive, this book is likewise amusing, and brings the reader in addition to interest to Odell’s approach of “manifest taking apart”.’– Megan Prelinger, author of Inside the Device: Art and Creation in the Electronic Age

How to Do Absolutely Nothing appears like self-help, however it’s in fact something more unusual: aid. It assists us to reconsider our practices of diversion and alienation, and reorient ourselves towards our environments and one another. Jenny Odell provides us a manifesto that is individual however likewise boldly political: interested in our typical world, in all its fluidity, variety and uncertainty. Luddite whining? Nope. Hermetic rambling? Nah. Business training? Fuck no. How to Do Absolutely Nothing is an invite to look and live more kindly.’– Damon Young, author of Interruption and The Art of Reading

‘ Nuanced, supportive, creative and thoughtful, Odell’s book checks out the methods you can reclaim your attention without turning your back on the world. If, like me, you are attempting to save your energy for transformative or imaginative tasks; if you desire details and connections however not diversion; if you desire less misery, less stress and anxiety and more world-changing action, start here.’– Jane Rawson, author of From the Wreck and An Incorrect Turn at the Workplace of Unmade Lists

‘ The book all of us require to check out now. With terrific accuracy, enthusiasm and artfulness, Odell discovers the language to satisfy this cultural minute. [This is] a happy manifesto about resistance that is likewise a useful and eccentric handbook on how to recover your colonised and monetised attention.’– Dana Spiotta, author of Others and innocents

‘ She struck a confident nerve of possibility that I had not felt in a very long time.’– Jia Tolentino, The New Yorker

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‘[An] fascinating, browsing brand-new book. Odell’s extensive, maniacal interest exudes from every page. her elaborate, stretching essays build a persuading and thoughtful case for what we might get if we directed our attention far from our screens, and towards our regional neighborhoods.’– The Regular Monthly