How to do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy

Nothing is harder to do these days than nothing. We find every last minute captured, optimised, or appropriated as a financial resource for the technologies we use daily. We consume algorithmic versions of ourselves, submit our free time to numerical evaluation, and maintain personal brands in digital space. After the American presidential election of 2016, Jenny Odell felt so overstimulated and disoriented by information, misinformation, and the expressions of others, that reality itself seemed to slip away. How To Do Nothing is her action plan for resistance. Drawing on the ethos of tech culture, a background in the arts, and personal storytelling, Jenny Odell makes a powerful argument for refusal: refusal to believe that our lives are instruments to be optimised.

J. Paul Neeley

J. Paul is a London based designer and researcher with expertise in Speculative Design, Service Design, Design Research, and Strategy.

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Gemma Jones

Interdisciplinary cultural researcher and strategist specialising in semiotics and futures thinking

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December 17, 2020

Nothing is harder to do these days than nothing. We find every last minute captured, optimised, or appropriated as a financial resource for the technologies we use daily. We consume algorithmic versions of ourselves, submit our free time to numerical evaluation, and maintain personal brands in digital space. After the American presidential election of 2016, Jenny Odell felt so overstimulated and disoriented by information, misinformation, and the expressions of others, that reality itself seemed to slip away. How To Do Nothing is her action plan for resistance. Drawing on the ethos of tech culture, a background in the arts, and personal storytelling, Jenny Odell makes a powerful argument for refusal: refusal to believe that our lives are instruments to be optimised.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/How-Do-Nothing-Jenny-Odell/dp/1612197493/ref=as_li_ss_il?crid=2JHR7CO54XWLM&keywords=how+to+do+nothing+jenny+odell&qid=1564408459&s=gateway&sprefix=how+to+do+nothing,aps,481&sr=8-1&linkCode=li3&tag=neeleyworld01-21&linkId=9d60af84be723dfb2898a0b2d79b4e3c&language=en_GB

Further Reading
Visions from Latin America: Critically navigating uncertain futures (Part one)
Evening lecture/ 26 November 2020
December 8, 2020
Circa Lunar: A conversation with Ted Hunt and Gemma Jones
School of Critical Design Co-founder and cultural semiotician Gemma Jones sat down for a long-distance chat with Fellow Ted Hunt to talk about his latest project, Circa Lunar
December 17, 2020