Jenny Odell | How to Do Nothing

Throughout my project I have been interested in my non commercial football project as being activist in its nature. A comment against the digital consumption of football. In order to understand my objective in a broader sense my research had led to the consideration of the digital economy as opposed to an experience led economy. By this I don’t mean to suggest that all experiences are non commercial however my reflection upon reading some of this book lead to an idea of the higher echelons of the football such as stadiums may be comparable to theme parks. Where experiences are researched and manipulated to provide maximum efficiency or productivity. Stadiums are designed with excellent facilities to eat, drink, read and purchase the latest range of leisurewear as opposed to the spaces that I inhabit, where the emphasis is ‘watching the game’. Whether that be in a local park or local stadium. Odell (2019, p14) states…

‘In a public space, ideally you are a citizen with agency; in a faux public space, ideally, you are either a consumer or a threat to the design of the place.’

It is not my intention to argue that all non league football spaces are comparable to public spaces. In fact they are quite the opposite. Usually having to pay to enter in addition to being able to purchase a number goods. The spaces inhabited by people within this world could neither be considered as a ‘faux public space’. From my experience, spectators may attend for a number of reasons. As fans, a centre for the community or somewhere to be alone and collect ones thoughts. As previously stated/illustrated in the last module, figure 1 represents an example of consumption on ones own terms. Entering the space to be alone and watch the spectacle take place, without being seen as a consumer or a rule breaker for arriving with her own seat and supplies.

Figure 1: Drew Findlay

Odell (2919, p13) continues her argument regarding public spaces in a way that may be illustrative of the example I have used when she states

‘True public spaces, the most obvious examples being parks and libraries, are places for – and thus the spatial underpinnings of – ‘what we will.’ A public, non commercial space demands nothing for you to enter, nor for you to stay; the most obvious difference between public space and other spaces is that you don’t have to buy anything, or pretend to want to buy something to be there

Although not usually free space to watch football. The non league part of the game represents fairness. Usually under £10 for an adult with concessions usually under £5.

Odell (2019, p15) ‘just as we lose noncommercial spaces, we also see all of our actions as potentially commercial’

I understand that the ideas expressed above appear to be far away from a photography project. The ideas of Odell are relevant in establishing the theme and justification of my project and the activist roots that I use to underpin my argument. Such ideas may be useful going forward as a broad message to communicate the intent of this project. The intent may fuel the potential to produce metaphorical or work of a poetic nature.

Published by drewfindlay82

Photographer based in Stockport, England. This website is for the purpose of my personal work, currently studying MA Photography at Falmouth University.

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