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November 2 @ 6:00 pm

Virtual: An Evening with Tung-Hui Hu and Kate Crawford

Details

Date:
November 2
Time:
6:00 pm

Venue

Books & Books in Coral Gables
265 Aragon Ave
Coral Gables, FL 33134
+ Google Map

Phone:
305.442.4408

Books & Books, Literati Bookstore and Miami Book Fair present…

A Virtual Evening with

Tung-Hui Hu

in conversation with Kate Crawford

discussing

Digital Lethargy: Dispatches from an Age of Disconnection

(The MIT Press, $24.95)

Thursday, September 29, 2022, 6 PM ET

 

REGISTER HERE

 

About the Book: 

The exhaustion, disappointment, and listlessness experienced under digital capitalism, explored through works by contemporary artists, writers, and performers.

Sometimes, interacting with digital platforms, we want to be passive—in those moments of dissociation when we scroll mindlessly rather than connecting with anyone, for example, or when our only response is a shrugging “lol.” Despite encouragement by these platforms to “be yourself,” we want to be anyone but ourselves. Tung-Hui Hu calls this state of exhaustion, disappointment, and listlessness digital lethargy. This condition permeates our lives under digital capitalism, whether we are “users,” who are what they click, or racialized workers in Asia and the Global South. Far from being a state of apathy, however, lethargy may hold the potential for social change.

Hu explores digital lethargy through a series of works by contemporary artists, writers, and performers. These dispatches from the bleeding edge of digital culture include a fictional dystopia where low-wage Mexican workers laugh and emote for white audiences; a group that invites lazy viewers to strap their Fitbits to a swinging metronome, faking fitness and earning a discount on their health insurance premiums; and a memoir of burnout in an Amazon warehouse. These works dwell within the ordinariness and even banality of digital life, redirecting our attention toward moments of thwarted agency, waiting and passing time. Lethargy, writes Hu, is a drag: it weighs down our ability to rush to solutions, and forces us to talk about the unresolved present.

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About the Author:

 Tung Hui Hu is Associate Professor of English at the University of Michigan. A former network engineer and a published poet, he is the author of A Prehistory of the Cloud (MIT Press), praised by the New Yorker as “mesmerizing” and by the Guardian as “witty, sharp and theoretically aware.” He was awarded the Rome Prize in Literature in 2022.


About the Moderator:

Kate Crawford is a leading scholar of the social implications of AI. She is a research professor at USC Annenberg, a senior principal researcher at Microsoft Research, and the inaugural chair of AI and Justice at the École Normale Supérieure.