electronic book review: Nature is What Hurts

In this review of Timothy Morton’s Hyperobjects, Robert Seguin contemplates the implication of the text’s eponymous subject on art, philosophy, and politics. The “hyperobject,” a hypothetical agglomeration of networked interactions with the potential to produce inescapable shifts in the very conditions of existence, emerges as the key consideration for the being in the present.

Morton_hyperobjects coverThe posthumanist turn in recent theory and cultural studies continues apace. Posthumanism, briefly, is in general the effort to challenge and even displace the vestiges of anthropocentrism that persist within the conceptual regimes of the human sciences. In this, it follows a series of sustained and by now familiar decenterings of certain privileged subject positions: the postcolonial decentering of a certain Western subjectivity, or the queer decentering of a certain heteronormative subjectivity, for instance. Posthumanism wishes to go further, however, and seeks to decenter the human as such, principally by exploring the complex web of connections and correspondences that obtain between both human and non-human life forms and between the human and our increasingly multiform and complex technological apparatuses - to imagine then a kind of seamless continuum of earthly being, with no point on the continuum to be seen as ethically or epistemologically privileged in any way.

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Published in: electronic book review
By: Robert Seguin