Yves Citton: Attention Ecology in the Digital Age
Where: The Cooper Union
7 E. 7th St. | 41 Cooper Sq.
212-353-4100 Price: Free
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One often hears that our digital age is generating a major “crisis” in our attentional capacities and demands, leading us all to be endlessly and hopelessly “distracted”. This talk will take a step back in order more precisely to question the common parameters used to frame such a “crisis”. In attempting to go beyond the shortsightedness of the “crisis mode”, it will suggest a number of ways through which one can escape the traps of our commercially-driven “attention economy”, in order to explore emerging questions of “attention ecology”. In a digital age where human attention gets increasingly delegated to machines (automatizing tasks of face-recognition, car-driving, or information-searching), what remains specific to human attention is precisely its capacity to be distracted, i.e. its curiosity. Thus education, research, and art institutions might better be conceived as “laboratories of curiosity”, so that our “attentional crisis” is recast as an opportunity to be more curiously and more creatively distracted…
Yves Citton is professor of French Literature at the Université Paris 8. He previously taught at the University of Geneva, Switzerland, at the University of Pittsburgh, PA, at the Université Grenoble Alpes, and has been invited Professor at New York University, Harvard and Sciences-Po Paris. He is co-editor of the journal Multitudes and recently published Médiarchie (2017), The Ecology of Attention (Cambridge, Polity Press, 2016, translation of Pour une écologie de l’attention, 2014), Gestes d’humanités (2012), Renverser l’insoutenable (2012), Zazirocratie (2011).
Yves Citton’s lecture has benefited from support from the Cultural Services of the French Embassy.
The Intra-Disciplinary Seminar (IDS) Public Lecture Series, designed as an introduction to some of the most pressing questions driving contemporary thought and practice, consists of lectures by artists, theorists, activists, designers, writers, curators, and other practitioners involved in the arts from positions that embody an interdisciplinary approach or that imply new uses for disciplinary traditions.
This year’s series is organized along three general directions: “Open Space: Building”, where we look at the social function of architecture, and how people move through space or build physical or symbolic spaces. “Open Image: Thresholds of Form”, where we think about the practice of image making, as well as the perception and interpretation of aesthetic production. “Open Methods: The (Post-)Colonial Contemporary”, where we wonder how to theorize the present moment, with regard to its political and ethical dimensions. IDS is organized by Leslie Hewitt, assistant professor at the School of Art of The Cooper Union, and Omar Berrada the director of Dar al-Ma’mûn, a library and artists’ residency in Marrakech and an adjunct instructor at The Cooper Union.Buy tickets/get more info now