Current Issue #488

Book Review:
How to Do Nothing

US artist and writer Jenny Odell offers a ‘field guide’ to prising ourselves away from the endless grind of the 21st century ‘attention economy’.

In this all-clattering age of neoliberalism, it often seems impossible to silence the stresses that encase us.

Jenny Odell – an artist and writer regularly working in digital spaces – has penned ‘a field guide to nothing as an act of political resistance to the attention economy’. Odell takes the reader on a path to gaining clarity in order to attract change.

While at times dense in its discussions, the takeaway is clear: by stepping outside of the social monocultures created by the abundant curation of life experiences, only then can we begin to see the whole ecology in which we reside.

It is here where we can then take the informed, deliberate yet urgent action required to plan for the future.

How to Do Nothing:
Resisting the Attention Economy

Author: Jenny Odell
Publisher: Black Inc.

Kylie Maslen

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Kylie Maslen is a writer and critic from Kaurna/Adelaide, and the author of Show Me Where it Hurts: Living with Invisible Illness (Text Publishing).

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