DR. TIMOTHY MORTON
Professor, Rice University, Texas
Author: ’Humankind’ and ‘Dark Ecology’
Timothy Morton, PhD, is Rita Shea Guffey Chair in English at Rice University. He has collaborated with Björk, Jennifer Walshe, Olafur Eliasson, Haim Steinbach, Emilija Škarnulytė and Pharrell Williams.
He is the author of Being Ecological (Penguin, 2018), Humankind: Solidarity with Nonhuman People (Verso, 2017), Dark Ecology: For a Logic of Future Coexistence (Columbia, 2016), Nothing: Three Inquiries in Buddhism (Chicago, 2015), Hyperobjects: Philosophy and Ecology after the End of the World (Minnesota, 2013), Realist Magic: Objects, Ontology, Causality (Open Humanities, 2013), The Ecological Thought (Harvard, 2010), Ecology without Nature (Harvard, 2007), eight other books, and 200 essays on philosophy, ecology, literature, music, art, architecture, design and food. In 2014 Morton gave the Wellek Lectures in Theory.
A member of the object-oriented philosophy movement, Morton's work explores the intersection of object-oriented thought and ecological studies.
Dr. Morton's use of the term 'hyperobjects' was inspired by Björk's 1996 single 'Hyperballad' although the term 'Hyper-objects' (denoting n-dimensional non-local entities) has also been used in computer science since 1967. Morton uses the term to explain objects so massively distributed in time and space as to transcend localization, such as climate change and styrofoam.
“One of the things that modern society has damaged has been thinking. Unfortunately, one of the damaged ideas is that of Nature itself. How do we transition from seeing what we call “Nature” as an object “over there”? And how do we avoid “new and improved” versions that end up doing much the same thing (embeddedness, flow and so on), just in a “cooler,” more sophisticated way?
“When you realize that everything is interconnected, you can't hold on to a concept of a single, solid, present-at-hand thing “over there” called Nature.”