Berkeley Arts Festival Calendar



2013/PG-13/91 minutes
During a routine space walk disaster leaves two astronauts tethered only to each other and with no way to contact earth.

Jul 24, 5:30pm to 7:01pm, Berkeley Public Library: Claremont Branch, 2940 Benvenue Ave, Berkeley

Jenny Odell: How to Do Nothing

Jenny Odell: How to Do Nothing

Nothing is harder to do these days than nothing. But in a world where our value is determined by our data productivity, doing nothing may be our most important form of resistance.

In HOW TO DO NOTHING: Resisting the Attention Economy, artist and critic Jenny Odell argues that our attention is the most precious -and overdrawn- resource we have. She dares us to question what we currently perceive as productivity, then proposes that instead we do "nothing." However, that "nothing" is actually a plan of action and an act of political resistance. Jenny argues that if we disengage from the attention economy -that endless cycle where communication is stunted, time is money, and our overstimulation is ever-present- we can re-route and deepen our attention to time and place, allowing us to better connect with our environment and each other.

Jenny Odell is an artist and writer who teaches at Stanford University. She has been an artist-in-residence at places such as the San Francisco dump, Facebook, the Internet Archive, and the San Francisco Planning Department, and has exhibited her art all over the world. She lives in Oakland, California, with her sometimes-pet crow.

Jul 24, 7pm to 8pm, In the basement of Moe's Books, 2476 Telegraph Ave., Berkeley

Peter Damm discusses Wild Blueberries

Peter Damm shares insights from his memoir, Wild Blueberries: Tales of Nuns, Rabbits & Discovery in Rural Michigan. About the Book: Some writers look at life with their eyes, others with their heart. In this beautifully written and illustrated collection of generous, poignant and humorous stories, Peter Damm recalls the joys of fishing on a northern lake, the rigors and confusion of childhood, or feasting on blueberries in autumn. These vignettes of growing up in small town rural Michigan, and a closely observed portrait of mid-century America are not just pretty postcards. Damm's family experienced difficulty, alcoholism and loss, and he writes with a survivor's compassion. These are tales for all the senses, held in place by strands of memory alternately steel and gold.

"Peter Damm's memoir, Wild Blueberries, is a joy to read. What emerges is a lyrical, rich and complex account of growing up in rural Michigan. The story of his Catholic coming of age is skeptical in tone, at times amusing, and yet we see how a sheltering tradition can comfort and unify. I read Wild Blueberriesin two sittings, held by its directness and simplicity. It was a pleasure to be in the hands of an intelligent and generous author." Leo Litwak--Guggenheim Fellow, winner of the Jewish National Book Award and the 1990 O. Henry Awards 1st Prize

"In Wild Blueberries Peter Damm tenderly sketches out the delights and tribulations of a seemingly quiet Midwestern childhood. Wrestling with the riddles of his Catholic inheritance, we hear the questions of a smart, sensitive young man trying to puzzle out the mysteries of sin, sex, and spirit, and make sense of the adult world. There is a gentleness and humor to Damm's stories that invites the reader to reflect on their own journey to maturity." J. Ruth Gendler--Writer, artist, teacher. Author of The Book of Qualities, Changing Light and Notes on the Need for Beauty

"Peter Damm's stories about growing up in Michigan made me laugh aloud, cry, and occasionally wince when they hit too close to home. He infuses his stories with a deeply felt sense of place. The lakes and forests of his Michigan youth take on the presence of characters in his narrative. This is a lovely collection, well conceived and beautifully told. The clean economy of the language and its cadences possess a quality that is almost poetic. Wild Blueberries is a gem of a book." William Rodarmor--Award-winning journalist and translator

Jul 24, 7:30pm to 8:30pm, Pegasus Books Downtown, 2349 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley