Consumed the week of April 22, 2019

I finished Jenny Odell’s brilliant book, How To Do Nothing, this week. It’s phenomenal. I absolutely loved it, it’s message is simple and powerful and I have no doubt it will be one of my favourite books of the year.

And then I sat down to write this blog post and my first thought was “I haven’t read enough articles this week, maybe I should pack some in now before I write the blog post.”

That kind of thought lies at the very heart of what I think Odell is writing about. The productivity trap that myself, and so many others have been slowly tangling ourselves up in for so many years.

It’s scary to see it in myself but I’m glad I can see it.

Related: this week, one of the articles I did read was The Metrics of Backpacks from Art Practical. It’s not about backpacks…

What dismays me about technology is this: not the machine itself but the way its architecture echoes outward, imposing a grid of quantification on everything it touches. The sadness of numbers interferes with our thoughts, begs us to apply logic to warm, messy things. What becomes of the ambiguity of feeling? That which can’t be immediately identified is derided, denied, and eventually erased.

It’s a great article, which is also about being a woman in a male-dominated industry. It also made me take an uncomfortable look at myself.

Instead of reading things on the internet this week, I read a little bit of Austin Kleon’s new one, Keep Going: 10 Ways to Stay Creative in Good Times and Bad.

My favourite thing on the internet this week was a Tumblr dedicated to the Google Maps camera taking selfies.

And this article from Jason Kottke on cultural cartography and it’s distillation and industrialisation has stuck with me.

It was the Crystal Palace Open House this week, and our friends hosted the brilliant Jo Self and her work (read her Wikipedia entry – she has lead some life!). We also got to meet Ananya Rao-Middleton who took up water colour as therapy for Post-Concussion Syndrome and now produces these beautiful (dinosaur-featuring) works, some of which we were lucky to able to buy.

Apart from that it’s been about lunch with friends, watching Line of Duty, Killing Eve and Game of Thrones and re-watching Mission Impossible: Fallout (this time wih Nina).

I’m seeing Endgame on Tuesday (no spoilers!).

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