TECHNOLOGY

At the end of the world, it’s hyper beings along the way


Perhaps not surprisingly, reactions to Morton have been intense and polarizing. excessive beings (Excessive beings) have been called ‘pessimistic’, ‘provocative’, ‘disenabled’, ‘pioneering’, ‘disturbing’ and ‘weird’ only. At the same time, Morton’s ideas found an enthusiastic – and growing – audience of readers outside of traditional academia, attracting everyone from artists and musicians to science fiction writers, architects, and students.

In the near decade since its publication, excessive beings Mentioned in a Buddhist blog post on the ecological crisis, A The New York Times An opinion piece on digital privacy, and a BBC report on how concrete will soon outperform all living materials on the planet. Technology writers invoke the term as a way of talking about a lack of understanding of algorithms and the Internet; Science fiction author Jeff Vandermeer said he accurately describes the strange phenomenon he wrote about in exterminationHis surrealist novel was made into a 2018 movie. Icelandic musician Björk reached out to Morton to talk about hyper beings, and their email correspondence became part of the MoMA exhibit. In 2019, Adam McKay introduced the former Saturday Night Live The lead writer and co-writer of a stack of successful Hollywood comedies has been so inspired by Morton’s work that he named his production company Hyperobject Industries. “You can feel your brain changing slightly because you never thought about that possibility,” McKay tells me. “This is Timothy. Every page of their writing bears this feeling.”

Then Covid happened, along with an accelerating number of devastating natural disasters attributed to climate change, and Morton’s ideas became as popular as obscure philosophical notions can get. They even appeared in a Canadian parliamentary debate on the pandemic. “We’re seeing something bigger than we are, something bigger than we can imagine,” said Charlie Angus, MP. Timothy Morton describes him as a hyper being, something we can’t even fully understand. Such is the power of this pandemic.” In a desperate attempt to understand—or accept that they cannot understand—these massive and interconnected forces, more and more people are finding echo in what Morton had to say. As Morton writes in their book, “The hyperboloids were already here, and slowly but Consistently we understood what they were saying. They called us.”

The message some readers heard upon the arrival of these phenomena was frightening: Look at our works, you tyrants, and despair. But there is another message in Morton’s book, one that Morton increasingly glorifies because despair threatens to paralyze many: Our sense of “the world” may come to an end, but humans are not doomed. Indeed, the end of this limited idea of ​​the world may be the only thing that can save us from ourselves.

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“how could you Tell someone in a dream that he is a character in a dream? ‘ asks Morton the first time I met them. We’re in the same little Houston neighborhood where I spent a year in lockdown with my brother. It’s August, and it’s always as hot as Houston in the summer: so humid that walking out the front door feels like Stepping into a blistering, slightly thicker dimension.Morton picks me up in a cool Mazda3 as we make our way to the Menil Collection, a museum and art collection housed in five buildings, including a chapel, on 30 acres.

Morton describes the origin of excessive beings As rosy – like the radio transmission that is sent from the receiver.

Fun Frank Nitty 3000

Born in London and educated in Oxford, Morton moved to Texas in 2012 to work at Rice, who is soft-spoken but sharp. On the day we meet, they are dressed in a shirt covered in green leaves that fade and disappear. There’s no way to convince people in a dream to wake up, Morton told me as we sprinted across sprawling highways, where the stereo blasts out a mix of ’70s rock, deep house, and grilling. You cannot negotiate with them. You have to blow their minds.”

Talking with Morton, just like reading their writing, is a slightly psychedelic experience filled with poetic leaps and longitudinal spirals through a dizzying array of topics: Star Wars, Buddhist meditation, romantic poetry, David Lynch, quantum physics, puppet show. One moment they talk about the death of the planet and the finer points of Heidegger and Derrida, and the next they convincingly explain to me why PM Dawn’s 1991 R&B “Set Adrift on Memory Bliss” was one of the greatest artistic achievements of all time, and why Han Solo Millennium Falcon It is a radical democratic ecological being that “declares the possibility of a new era”. None of this is out of sequence, but the ideas can feel off-putting, like the image of a magical eye on the cusp of snapping into a show. Since Morton often talks about things he can’t directly talk about, the only way to locate her is to circle her around, pointing out almost but not quite touching metaphors.



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