Jenny Odell: Technologies of Seeing
Berkeley alumna, best-selling author, and acclaimed speaker Jenny Odell (@jennitaur) returns to her alma mater with a lecture about attention. The discussion is based on her book How to Do Nothing, which was cited as one of President Obama’s favorites of 2019 and described by the New York Times as “a complex, smart, and ambitious book that at first reads like a self-help manual, then blossoms into a wide-ranging political manifesto.” Odell learned much about attention from bird-watching: “to observe birds not just as instances but as actors is bird-watching in time, whether I’m observing moment-to-moment decisions or changes across the seasons.” Her technologies of seeing don’t involve machines as much as a certain insight about being in the world, of dissolving into pure observation.
Odell is an accomplished writer and new-media artist who has created murals for Google Data Centers. Her quixotic, astute, and carefully researched works generally involve acts of close observation, whether bird-watching, collecting screenshots, or trying to parse bizarre forms of e-commerce.
Participants and topics are subject to change; visit Berkeley Arts + Design (artsdesign.berkeley.edu) for the most up-to-date series information.