• Akademie der Künste / Hanseatenweg / Studio
Real Time, Dead Time

with Tung-Hui Hu

  • Lecture
Passes only
Real Time, Dead Time

Digital networks make us scalable. They format us so that we can interface with others in the cloud, and compress us to circulate our data better. But even as algorithmic feeds glue us to a global cycle of real time, they also produce a sense that time is something to be scrolled through, wasted, even killed. This is why it’s so hard to slow down, and why we feel so exhausted: we are told that everything is changing, that a future is just around the corner, but really we are stuck in a standstill.

What results is digital lethargy: feeling depersonalised, withdrawn, and passive. But lethargy is still an affect, which is to say that it is paradoxically a form of connection with others. In this lecture, Tung-Hui Hu examines new forms of relation and contact, between spammer and user, between two automated bots, showing how lethargy offers an alternate description of how time works today.

Tung-Hui Hu is the author of A Prehistory of the Cloud (MIT Press, 2015) and Digital Lethargy: Dispatches from an Age of Disconnection (MIT Press, 2022), as well as three books of poetry.