Fondazione Antonio Ratti

Alexei Penzin

Sleep and Subjectivity in Capitalist Modernity

21 July 2011
FAR – Villa Sucota

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"The phenomenon of sleep is a rather unusual subject for philosophy, critical theory and the humanities. It remains in the realm of natural, a-historical rhythmicity: days and nights, dusk and dawn, falling asleep and awakening. Today, biology and medical sciences are highly advanced in studying the physiology and neurology of sleep, and the emerging medicalization of sleep disorders is one of the new places of "biocapital" accumulation. At the same time, our "24 hours society" with its incessant production, communication and consumption activities makes sleep a problematic, uncertain element of everyday life, just wasted time or inertia in a mobile and pragmatic neoliberal society obsessed with the idea of the full employment of finite human existence. However, it seems almost impossible to identify a consistent critical discourse on sleep in its social, political and philosophical registers."
(Alexei Penzin)

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