Follow the Things

A couple of weeks after my last sojourn down to Newquay, it was down to Exeter last week, to work with Ian Cook at the University of Exeter on new classroom page(s) for the Follow the 
Things website to be launched shortly...
The work is described HERE. 
Here's a draft layout of one of the pages.... It'll look a little like this....

Screen shot 2013-07-11 at 22.34.51

Screen Shot 2013-07-02 at 12.23.02 PM

What is

  • It’s an online shopping website, if you understand ‘shopping’ to involve betraying the origins of things, like you might ‘shop’ a person to the police.
  • It’s designed to have the look, feel and architecture of familiar online stores.
  • It’s stocked with examples of art work, documentary film, journalism, activism, academic, student and other work revealing the lives of everyday things, i.e. the relations between their producers and consumers hidden by commodity fetishism.
  • It shows how their makers tried to make these relations apparent, visible, tangible in ways that might move their audiences to act by trying to make them feel guilty, shocked, appreciative, awkward and/or involved in other people’s lives and work.
  • It researches what its makers and viewers have said online about each example: what it aimed to do, how it was made, what discussions it provoked, and what impacts it had.
  • It’s full of quotations that are arranged so that they read like a conversation, a conversation that can move from the computer screen  into the classroom as teachers create lesson plans and schemes of work with its contents.
  • It aims to inform and inspire new ‘follow the things’ work (by teachers, their students, as well as artists, filmmakers, journalists and others), which we hope to publish on the site too. Some examples of new work have already been published.
  • It has become a popular website for teachers looking to engage their students in North-South relations via the geographies of commodities. So, we’re working on a new ‘classroom page’ to bright together materials and ideas already developed for this purpose
There have been further new sections added recently, including a new SHIPPING page, and also a PEER REVIEW section which shows where the site has been referenced in other papers / websites etc.
I've been involved in the creation of a new CLASSROOM page, and it's good to see it taking shape with some draft layouts HERE.

For a quick introduction to some of the key ideas, you can download an article that Ian co-wrote with a number of colleagues

Made In ? explores some of the connections between commodities and consumers (PDF download)

There are also going to be several teacher BLOGS which are going to follow a number of colleagues who are teaching. The first one by Oprah has now been published.


Popular posts from this blog


Jonathan Meades on Sustainability

On the trail of the 'Detectorists'