Offline Matters

The less digital guide to creative work

Our good friend Jess Henderson (pseud.) just published her first book Offline Matters, the less digital guide to creative work, and we’re beyond proud. Not because we designed it, but because this document feels like the so much needed wake-up-call, both confronting and insightful, inspiring and resonating.
Over the past months Jordi and I have been working together to shape and form the content that initially started in the form of the Outsider newsletter into a small but heavy-on-content ‘work book’. Written around a theme that resonated on so many levels with what we do, how we work, and with whom, Offline Matters became a handbook of radical strategies for creative workers. The guide blows open the true state of today’s creative work where digital solutions are doctrine, overwork culture results in burnouts and ideas churn out into depressing marketing noise.

“Offline Matters is a much needed take-down of the whole ‘cult of creativity’ from the inside. This rattle gun attack on the perniciousness of the creative digital work will leave you aghast and amused in equal measure.”

— Oli Mould, author of Against Creativity

Part of the vanguard of young minds exposing the insides of contemporary workplaces, Jess Henderson is a peerless voice of the many. Representing the growing body of precarious creative workers “saying what nobody else is saying,” Henderson addresses an array of issues from a stance of mutual aid and solidarity.

A wake-up call for the digital age, Offline Matters is pro-flourishing rather than anti-technology. Take this countercultural ride of togetherness through an offline-first approach to creative work. From ideas that unlearn the limiting habits of most workplaces, to insider advice on avoiding clichés and reducing digital overload, this book offers practical thoughts for a creative life that questions pervasive productivity mandates.
Sharp, intelligent and subversive, this book is an essential resource for any creative professional.

“For any creative who has had to cater to corporate dimwits in order support their art, here’s a terrific guide to bringing your best work into the commercial sphere without selling out or compromising your craft. This is a book about how to break free from the data-driven expectations of your client’s spreadsheet, and retrieve the true novelty that makes you valuable in the first place.”

— Douglas Rushkoff, author of Team Human

Part insider exposé, part worker-manual, this book is for any creative seeking help on navigating the possibility of offline alternatives, countering overwork culture, exploitation, and dulled-down ideas and recovering what we all loved about our creative calling.
Away from the confines of our screens. We are dreaming of offline. Not as a romanticised past, a punishment, a quick detox, or a WiFi-free café. Offline is not a lifestyle, it’s a space of opportunity.

Jess Henderson (pseud.) is a writer, theorist and creative strategist. In 2017, at the age of 26, they founded Outsider – an insider-activist platform within the creative industries. Beginning as a subversive email newsletter, Outsider has grown to garner a cult-following around the world with their anonymous writings, research, publications, experimental workshops and offline-only events. Henderson is a fellow of the Institute of Network Cultures in Amsterdam and speaks about offline creativity around the world – including at NYCxDesign week, Parson’s Strategic Design Conference, the DuPho Awards and Us by Night Festival.

“Offline Matters couldn’t come at a more important and critical juncture in our human existence… The insights within this book highlight the current creative plight we’ve gotten ourselves into and the cracks within many cultural and societal pillars. This book is a great step in helping us reclaim and reconsider our roles within the current structures we’ve all been players within. Many of us can read along nodding in agreement and the examples surely represent thoughts we’ve embraced at some point. But this book isn’t about reprimanding us so much as help us understand how we can move forward. We’ve become so subservient to other factors out in the world and this is a stern reminder to take back control of something that can provide an immense amount of personal and community value.”

— Eugene Kan, co-founder of MAEKAN and Hypebeast

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