Matthew Fuller is an author and Professor of Digital Media at the Centre for Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths College, London. He works in the fields of media theory, software studies, critical theory, and contemporary fiction.
In this podcast, Fuller begins with a detailed analysis of the notion of scale, not only in an abstract sense, but as a doorway into pressing issues regarding ethics, ecology, technology and post-human practices. Following Fuller’s reasoning, the very idea of scale becomes a fundamentally political question in a context characterized by profound environmental damage. As such, it is a crucial tool to measure and understand the world around us, and to rethink it and our impact on the medium we inhabit. This subtle shift of the collective point of view is in a sense the backbone of Fuller’s case, and this also applies to his recent work around sleep: “People are conscious in different kinds of ways, at different levels, when they are asleep; but they are also not the classical human subject. So for a third of our life we are not the classical human subject. And this maybe provides a possibility for rethinking the human”.
SON[I]A talks to Matthew Fuller about sleep, procedural imperialism, big data, post-humanity, and what he calls “denial of service attacks on people’s brains”.
02:10 The threshold of knowledge has been passed: we have to start working in ways that are collective
04:18 Scale, levels of reality, levels of transformation
06:45 A very contemporary problem
10:05 Water density over large areas of forest
11:43 The question of big data
16:30 New forms of knowledge and the self: the figure of Chelsea Manning
20:50 How do we learn about the world? All knowledge is situated, even the supposedly critic
28:18 We are already in the future
31:04 Denial of service attack on people's brains: evil media
36:20 We spend a third of our lives sleeping
41:12 Jonathan Crary
41:50 Sleep: rethinking the human
43:36 Commodification of sleep
44:53 Sleep: an experience that we can not experience