Global warming is a manifestation of the Anthropocene, the moment at which human history has intersected decisively with geological time. Since the later eighteenth century, humans began to deposit a thin layer of carbon in Earth's crust. The fossil fuel burning that caused this has given rise to logarithmic increases in Earth's average temperature. In this essay, I argue that philosophy is now tasked with bringing human thinking up to speed with this new reality. I shall argue that what now emerges are what I call hyperobjects, massively distributed entities that can be thought and computed, but not directly touched or seen. The simultaneous unavailability yet reality of the hyperobject require a radical new form of thinking to cope with it. This essay will argue that object-oriented ontology is that form of thinking. The aesthetic implications, and the implications for artistic practice, of the global warming age, which I here call the time of hyperobjects, are manifold. Pushing Hegel's history of art beyond its expected limits, I argue that the time of hyperobjects obviates the kind of Romanticism (and related practices) that have been prevalent since the dawn of the Anthropocene. The new phase of art is best
symploke – University of Nebraska Press
Published: Dec 22, 2013
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