Our Bookseller says:
“[I wrote this book]… not only for artists and writers, but for any person who perceives life to be more than an instrument, and therefore something that cannot be optimized.”
A much-needed opposition to an age where every thinking moment can be catalogued, mined, and exploited for profit. The antidote? Intentional removal from that frantic space by doing ‘nothing.’
Odell isn’t here to chastise us millenials about using our phones too much – instead, she points out exactly what we lose when we are subjected to a society that demands every ounce of our time be devoted to productivity and/or profitable, programmable social interaction. This book speaks to basic truths that I felt, but couldn’t articulate until now: that ‘grounding’ oneself requires actual ground; and that the choice not to act or speak is both an inalienable right, and an act of resistance.
So argues artist and critic Jenny Odell in this field guide to doing nothing (at least as capitalism defines it). Odell sees our attention as the most precious—and overdrawn—resource we have. Once we can start paying a new kind of attention, she writes, we can undertake bolder forms of political action, reimagine humankind’s role in the environment, and arrive at more meaningful understandings of happiness and progress.
Far from the simple anti-technology screed, or the back-to-nature meditation we read so often, How to do Nothing is an action plan for thinking outside of capitalist narratives of efficiency and techno-determinism. Provocative, timely, and utterly persuasive, this book is a four-course meal in the age of Soylent.