“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Monday, December 25, 2017

Fuck TFW

TFW you realize that using the second person singular to advertise an unsharable experience has turned you into a PR person for a commodity called yourself that no one can buy, because you're a luxury commodity.

A Thousand and One Citations of The Ecological Thought

...it took a little while, and I want people to read it a lot, because it's the philosophical groundwork for Ecology without Nature. I wrote it in a couple of months in London in 2008. I wrote a three page version and just kept adding sentences!

Gary Snyder read it and it's why he was the first person to call one of my books philosophy.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Pre-Order My Book Being Ecological

MIT are distributing it in the USA. It's being published by Penguin. Here's the UK version.

Laurie Anderson and I are talking about doing some stuff connected to it. What an honor it is to have been sought out by her intellect and brilliance. Stay tuned!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Divide and Conquer

"Facebook’s response to criticism of its political advertising standards has been more robust. During the 2016 presidential election, the company was complicit in what the Trump campaign acknowledged was a massive “voter suppression” effort. Trump’s digital team spent more than $70 million on Facebook advertising, churning out hundreds of thousands of microtargeted “dark” ads, which appeared only on the timelines of the target audience and did not include disclosures that they were paid for by the campaign. A hefty portion of those adstargeted voters from major Democratic demographics with negative messages about Hillary Clinton and was intended to dissuade them from going to the polls. Facebook employees embedded with the Trump teamaided this effort, helping with targeting and ensuring the ads were approved through an automated system. " --Media Matters

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Morton in Japanese

Here's a list of things of mine that have been published in Japanese. Ecology without Nature is coming in spring 2018 sometime.

“Kankyo shugi” Gendai shiso, trans. Midori Ogawa, vol. 43 no 1, 112-129, January 2015.(= “Environmentalism,” in Nicholas Roe, ed., Romanticism: An Oxford Guide (Oxford UP, 2005)

“Kuia ecoloty” Gendai shiso, trans. Masatake Shinohara, vol. 43 no. 10, 64-75, June 2015. (= “Queer Ecology,” PMLA 125.2 (March 2010), 1-19.)

“Namida ni kure, Ikokuno hatanaka ni tatitukushita” Gendai shiso, trans. Midori Ogawa and Masatake Shinohara, Gendai Shiso, vol 43. no. 13, 144-167, September, 2015. (= “She Stood in Tears Amid the Alien Corn: Thinking Through Agrilogistics,” diacritics 41.3 (2014), 90-113.)

My brilliant translator, Masatake Shinohara, writes: Gendai shiso is the leading Japanese journal of contemporary thought. We have learned philosophies of thinkers  such as Deleuze, Derrida, Heidegger from this journal.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Here's an Interview

...for Springerin, a German magazine (this is a translation). I think it's nice...

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

All My 2017 Essays

Jeez, there are 26 of them! 

1.     “The Love of Wisdom” The Philosophical Salon, December 10.
2.     “Spectral Life: The Uncanny Valley Is in Fact a Gigantic Plain, Stretching as Far as the Eye Can See in Every Direction,” in Jami Weinstein and Claire Colebrook, eds., Posthumous Life: Theorizing Beyond the Posthuman (New York: Columbia, 2017), 271–293.
3.     “En introduktion til ideen om ‘hyperobjecter’,” in Maya Byskov, Sissel Thastum and Line Thastum, eds., Vi Kan Bo Her Mens Viventer: Stemmer I den antropocene tid (We Can Stay Here While We Wait: Voices in the Anthropocene) (Aarhus: The Independent AIR, 2017), 42—51.
4.     “Solidarity and the Symbiotic Real,” in Gediminas Urbonas, ed., Public Space? Lost and Found (Cambridge: MIT, 2017), 117–118.
5.     “Down Beneath the Horror It’s Quiet and I Can Hear Myself Think,” in Olafur Eliasson, ed., Open House: Take Your Time, vol. 7 (Berlin: Studio Olafur Eliassosn, 2017), 365–369.
6.     “The Party Cools of Stoan,” in Martin Clark, ed., I Aint the Noing Uv It Im Onle the Showing Uv It (Bergen Kunsthall, 2017), 147–154.
7.     “A New Holism,” in Daniela Zyman and Eva Ebersberger, Olafur Eliasson Green Light: An Artistic Workshop (Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2017), 44–51.
8.     “Dark Ecology: Interview with Timothy Morton,” Springerin 4 (2017), 16–20.
9.     “Specters of Ecology,” in Eric Hörl with James Burton, General Ecology: The New Ecological Paradigm (New York: Bloomsbury, 2017), 303–321.
10.  “Charisma and Causality,” in Matthew Post, ed., A Rock that Keeps Tigers Away (Kunstverein München, 2017), 13–23.
11.  “And You May Find Yourself Living in an Age of Mass Extinction,” in Kari Conte, ed., Aqueous Earth (ISCP, 2017), 33–45.
12.  “Attune,” in Jeffrey Cohen and Lowell Duckert, eds., Veer Ecology (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2017), 151–167.
13.  “Spectral Depth,” Worldviews 21:3 (October, 2017).
14.  “Queer Green Sex Toys,” in Whitney Bauman, ed., Meaningful Flesh (Punktum, 2017).
15.  “Subscendence,” e-flux journal 85 (October, 2017).
16.  “And You May Find Yourself Living in an Age of Mass Extinction,” Anthropology of Consciousness 28:2 (September, 2017).
17.  “Amar las cosas implica permitir que sean raras,” interview, La Vanguardia (Barcelona), April 25.
18.  “Why Ecological Awareness Is Loopy,” in Solveig Nitzke and Nicolas Pethes, eds., Imagining Earth: Concepts of Wholeness in Cultural Constructions of Our Home Planet (Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag, 2017), 91–111.
19.  “Always Arranged but Never Complete,” sleeve notes for Caoimhín Breathnach, The Golden Cassette (Aisteach, 2017).
20.  “Groundbreaking Scholar Timothy Morton Wants Philosophers to Face Their ‘Buddhaphobia’,” interview with Sam Littlefair, Lion’s Roar, August 29.
21.  “Time to Press the Space Bar: On Sarah Wood, Without Mastery,” Oxford Literary Review 39:1 (2017), 135–145.
22.  “A Quake in Being,” in Imre Szeman and Dominic Boyer, eds., Energy Humanities: An Anthology (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2017), 357–373.
23.  “X-Time,” Preface, Heitham Al-Sayed, In the Droom (Paris: Onslaught, 2017), 9–13.
24.  “Earworms,” Soundscape 15:1 (Fall/Winter 2016), 9–14.
25.  “Spectral Causality,” in Allora and Calzadilla, Puerto Rican Light (New York: Dia Art Foundation, 2017), 127–132.

26.  “Ecology,” in Imre Szeman Jennifer Wenzel and Patricia Yaeger, eds., Fueling Culture: 101 Words for Energy and Environment (New York: Fordham, 2017), 117–119.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Stop with the TFW already

That feeling when you realize that the trope everyone now uses transmutes uniqueness into typicality, thus precisely embodying the current state of being what remains of a person despite your ostensible left wing beliefs.

Personalized alienation.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Jeff VanderMeer says lovely things about Humankind

Humankind: Solidarity with Nonhuman People by Timothy Morton (Verso Books) – Considered by many to be among the top philosophers in the world, especially among those tackling issues related to human effects on our environment, Morton herein provides an important, spirited, and sometimes frenetic analysis of the foundational assumptions of Marxism and other -isms with regard to nature and culture (whilst also wanting to redefine those terms). Morton makes a compelling case for how our existing ideologies must adapt or change radically to repatriate ourselves with a world in which we are entangled physically but which we have convinced ourselves we are estranged from, or stand apart from, in our minds. If that sounds wordy, it’s because this is a complex topic and Morton is better than I am at expressing complex concepts in ways that are useful to a layperson.--The Millions

Wednesday, December 6, 2017


According to hardcore fundamentalists here in the USA, the return of Jews to Israel will trigger the apocalypse. Then, if they don't convert to Christianity, they will be slaughtered--by Jesus.


Saturday, December 2, 2017

Yes, Quite Simply

I don't know about you but I'm gutted ever day that Clinton, who won the popular vote and for whom Houstonians voted I think 5-1, is not my president. The intensity (good) and staying power (hooray) of the current focus on sexual assault by powerful men is an incredibly salutary result, I'm sure, of the incredible stuff that happened last year. I've been waiting for something like that to happen since I was old enough to understand what misogyny was in a vivid way (which would be about the age of seven), and in general as the child of a strongly feminist mum.

The day I realized I really couldn't be friends with David, was the day he asked, in bookstore of our beloved Tate Gallery, "Why are there no women artists?" I knew it couldn't possibly be true and that the utterance was doing more kinds of work than just being an innocent question, but I had no language to articulate those thoughts yet, so I was only able to say "David, that can't be right." Which didn't deter him at all. I was super glad to get to university and be given the language (thanks Kate Flint!!!) to spell that out better.

The pincer movement whereby people opposed to Trump were set against one another (whether by Russia or internal whatever or some combination) was exquisitely painful, given how I like to think about politics.

The noises Russia makes on the world stage are deeply misogynist, homophobic and racist. I bet they (metonymy for the official Russian look) hated the idea of a black president. Let alone a woman one. Let alone ones who had been endeavoring to keep them in check. You don't have to be specially or secretly in cahoots with such a force if you too are sporting these attitudes. You just like it when you see your view reproduced.

Case in point: I was hassled for several months by a tweep who called themselves putin_cyber_agent. Who cares if they were or were not Russian, or whether or not there were an American Trump or Sanders supporter, or whoever. The name (designed to call the bluff of the reader, like shoplifting in plain sight) is enough for me. Along with what they said.

I tolerated them during the election, thinking that at least I was wasting a tiny bit of their time. After the debacle, the day I blocked them was the day (right after the election) they started stirring it once again with the Sanders supporters, saying Trump had won because of people like me.

No. He won because of men like this:
A pervasive theme of all of these men’s coverage of Mrs. Clinton was that she was dishonest and unlikable. These recent harassment allegations suggest that perhaps the problem wasn’t that Mrs. Clinton was untruthful or inherently hard to connect with, but that these particular men hold deep biases against women who seek power instead of sticking to acquiescent sex-object status.--New York Times
American voting districts are, across a lot of the country, deeply messed up by having been gerrymandered by right wing politicians. Just enough white men and women had to be convinced not to vote for Clinton (remember, she won the popular vote by the biggest margin ever). It worked. Who cares whether the forces were conscious or unconscious or both? (Except for the fact that we would like to have the current administration destroyed by the Mueller investigation.) We know what the forces are. The forces are misyogyny.

You're never, ever going to persuade me that the result was a good idea, for whatever reason. This is going to suck for me for the rest of my life.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

One of My Barcelona Lectures (video)

Thanks Jaron and all the amazing people who showed up. 200 I think! 150 in the room and 50 in the corridor! It was fantastic.

Timothy Morton - 'Hacia un ministerio del futuro' from BAU, Centre Universitari Disseny on Vimeo.

This Is What I'm Doing in Portugal on Thursday and Friday

It's The Forum of the Future and I'm going to be doing a thing with brilliant filmmaker Ben Rivers.

Thursday, November 2, 2017


"[T]he rest of us — media, voters, all of us who perpetuate norms around gender and power in a million subtle ways — have created an unnavigable landscape for female “firsts” generally, and for this one especially."--Jill Filipovic

1300 Citations for Ecology without Nature

As of today!

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Barcelona This Week: The World's First Genuinely Hyperobjects-Themed Exhibition

So many things happening: lecture by me, rooms I designed etc etc etc 
because this ladies and gentlemen is the first hyperobjects exhibition on the planet
Recognize the title?

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Jeff VanderMeer on Hyperobjects on NPR

I hadn't heard this until  now, it's from a July show. Jeff nails it, characteristically.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Lectures This Year

Twenty-one. That's not the record, which is 31. Not yet. I'm tackling all my work piece by piece at present, which is the most comfortable way if you're doing such a variety of stuff as well as such an amount. I have a feeling though that by the end of December, I will have done a bit less than last year,  which was 29.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Dark Kaleidoscope

I'm going to be giving a little lecture at the Kunstlerhaus Bethianen today at 6pm. It's very important that we keep our imagination, which is our capacity to open the future, awake, at a time at which the urge to collapse into the fetal position is high. I think there's some art out there that you need inside of you, and we're going to be exploring that from inside some of it, because this is an installation of tremendous power and eloquence called Mirror Matter, by Emilija Škarnulytė.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Barcelona Interview (in Spanish)

This is from a few months ago, but a smart person found the link!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

It's Las Vegas, It's an Accountant, He Has a Machine Gun--and He's in a Show Directed by David Lynch

Premonition. Art is from the future. Told you. NB: the people he's slaughtering are hired assassins.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Stockholm Next Friday

Maybe 500 people coming at present...

Monday, September 25, 2017

I'll be Talking at the Serpentine Marathon

...wow, the title is such perfect timing for Humankind: “Guest, Ghost, Host, Machine”?! They could have been chapter titles!

London, October 7!

The description is ace:

The 2017 Marathon brings together artists, scientists, activists, engineers, poets, sociologists, philosophers, filmmakers, writers, anthropologists, theologians and musicians to consider the advent of ‘artificial intelligence’, consciousness, interspecies cooperation, machines, trans-humanism and non-linear time.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Next Up

Stockholm next week for a landscape architecture organization.

Week after that, London. I'm talking with Penguin about my stuff (wow they're so professional, they're for real and there's a reason why they're the best), and doing a thing for the band Test Dept. and something for Hans Ulrich Obrist's 2017 marathon at the Serpentine. Those things are on Saturday.

And I'm doing a lecture on global warming and morality and politics and stuff. Details to follow!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Tim Answers an Email

Boy oh boy I answered it about nine months late! I'm so busy...

Anyway I thought you might like these brief answers. Questions are as they appear in the email:

1, In relation to OOO what connections do you think there are with the new ideas that we are now in an Anthropocene Epoch?

Well, we are aware of gigantic entities whose data is obviously different from what they are, which is the basic OOO insight. Things don’t coincide with thing data. It’s just that the hyperobjects (such as climate, biosphere…) are big enough for us to be able to know this intuitively.

2, What is your thinking on land fill ? and how in your opinion does that contribute to this environmental change?

Not much! I haven’t yet. That doesn’t mean I shouldn’t in future.

3, What is your opinion on humans having  a greater connection with materialistic object around them, than they now have with the earth that supports them?

Unfortunately there are some ecological phenomenological chemicals within consumerism. Ecological thought rejects consumerism at its peril. See Dark Ecology.

4, Is it purely down to capitalism, our materialistic wants and the rate at which this is growing that is causing these changes?

No. Neanderthals would have loved coca cola zero and there are soviet carbon emissions, still in effect as I observed in Arctic Russia.

5, what is your opinion on the Gaia theory ?

It’s a form of mechanism in disguise in which trees, humans and bacteria (and everything) become replaceable components of a whole based on all that’s wrong with religion. See my new book Humankind.

6,  How do you think artists and what they use help with drawing attention to the world around them? Do you know of any that are doing this particularly well?

Art does more than that. Art is (from) the future. Art olds open the possibility that things can be different. Gosh there are so many amazing ones I don’t know where to start! I’m working on two hyperobjects exhibitions this year, one in Texas, one in Barcelona.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Morton on Buddhism (interview)

This was such an honor an really fun to do for Lion's Roar. Take home line: Buddhism is not about suffering at all.

Monday, August 28, 2017

My Reply to Dipesh Chakrabarty

Dipesh wrote yesterday to the anthropologists Cymene Howe and Dominic Boyer, and me, about the Houston events. Dipesh, if you don't know him, is the author of a very very powerful essay called “The Climate of History,” one of the very first texts to deal full on with the Anthropocene from a humanities perspective.

There's a lot of emotion here in Houston, mostly it's a toxic cocktail of boredom and fear. There's a lot to say, so expect more. But I thought this might work well for the blog:

[Dear Dipesh]

For me this situation is a great example of how my ability to understand things massively outstrips my ability to cope with them …

One of the less pleasant aspects is the way the situation engages people’s narcissistic sadism (“look at the stupid fools over there”), magnified by cynical reason (“they are so ideologically deluded compared with me”). It has been spectacularized on the TV as Cymene and Dominic and I were discussing yesterday, in a podcast, and this means people find it hard to see the event as ongoing (some people are asking “how was the hurricane?” as if “it” was over already), and in particular, the more leftish intellectually inclined ones are making sure to press the guilt button rather than the thought button (“now you know what it’s like for non-white non-Texan non-stupid-idiots…”).

We intellectuals are not stupid: we know the phenomenology of guilt is a bad photocopy of the phenomenology of thought, so it’s much cheaper to press that button. Unfortunately of course, guilt is an artifact of agricultural age religion, and is designed specifically to prevent humans from thinking and operating on a collective level.

So that’s pretty unpleasant. On Twitter, a white Norwegian literary theory teacher just Nordsplained things for me (new word!), somewhat forgetful of Statoil’s funding of his job.

But it’s nowhere near as unpleasant as not having a house, which I still have, by virtue of living at high altitude for Houston, aka 1 meter above sea level (joke estimate)!

Friday, August 25, 2017

Humankind: A Dialogue with Federico Campagna of Verso at the Tate Modern

This was so good because Federico is so good. We did it on August 21; the book was published on August 22.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Humankind Is Out! And a Review in the Guardian

Stuart Jeffries does such a lovely job here.

Isn't the cover just so good? Look how it seems like the designer used real bubbles on real cut paper...

The design has to do with maybe the deepest concept in the book, the set-theoretical one.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Dark Ecology Interview (mp3)

This is not embed-able...click instead. Very good interviewer, Leonard Schwartz. We did it in February of this year.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Everything Dark Ecology, on One YouTube Channel

Thanks Sonic Acts! What a great archive of the adventures of the sound artists creating things with Tim's concept in Arctic Russia over three years...

Monday, August 14, 2017

Jesus H Christ:

“Black demonstrators protesting the murder of teen-agers are met with tanks and riot gear; white demonstrators protesting the unpopularity of Nazi and Confederate ideology are met with politesse.” The New Yorker

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Another Juicy Bit of My Penguin Book

“It’s not just true that there is a time for everything, as it says in Ecclesiastes (‘a time to reap and a time to sow . . .’); it’s the case that from grasses to gorillas to gargantuan black holes, everything has its own time, its own temporality.”

Comedy versus Tragedy

When you watch one person on stage trying to surmount their fate only in that very action to embody it, it's called a tragedy.

When you see a lot of people doing it on stage, it's called Fawlty Towers. 


Here's a Tiny Bit of My Penguin Book to Give You the Level

“Kant described beauty as a feeling of ungraspability: this is why the beauty experience is beyond concept. You don’t eat a painting of an apple; you don’t find it morally good; instead, it tells you something strange about apples in them- selves. Beauty doesn’t have to be in accord with prefabricated concepts of ‘pretty’. It’s strange, this feeling. It’s like the feel- ing of having a thought, without actually having one. In food marketing there is a category that developed in the last two decades or so called mouthfeel. It’s a rather disgusting term for the texture of food, how it interacts with your teeth and your palate and your tongue. In a way, Kantian beauty is thinkfeel. It’s the sensation of having an idea…”

Morton on The Future on the Radio

Houston Matters has some very interesting aspects and one of them is that Craig Cohen, the host, is so reflective.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

At the Tate Modern Bookshop in London, August 21

...in dialogue with Federico Campagna on the subject of my book Humankind. At 7pm.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017


Very recently I found out The Ecological Thought will be in Chinese by next year. There's also a Chinese translation of an essay I wrote coming, "Art in the Age of Asymmetry."

Dark Ecology will be in Dutch and Croatian soon.

There are a lot more things on the go, but it's hard to keep track! I'll make some inquiries.

Things I'm Doing

I've been sending this to some people and I thought you might like to see it as well. There's a bunch of things I'm doing, hard for me to keep up with all of them, and I forget to tell people about them!

Here's the link to the Guardian piece about me:


And here's Abasi Rosoborough the fashion designer. They've made a range of suits based on my hyperobjects concept and they're going to show at New York Fashion week this year:


Here's Newsnight, the flagship BBC news and current affairs show. They're having me on later this month:


Here's Ballroom Marfa where I'm curating an exhibition about Hyperobjects:


Here's the movie database page for Susan Kucera, who is directing me and Jeff Bridges in an ecology documentary:


And here's the webpage of Jennifer Walshe, a genius composer with whom I'm composing an opera about time:


Last year she premiered Everything Is Important, a piece for voice, string quartet and film based on my hyperobjects idea.

There's a whole lot of other things too like I'm designing the next Voyager type message to extraterrestrials with Pharrell Williams. And may do a radio show with Björk, another one with Jarvis Cocker of Pulp, and may have a radio series of my own on the BBC.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

First Paragraph of Another Essay

Gosh there are so many proofs this weekend. Four essays and the Penguin book. I haven't had a bunch like this for a while and it's nice to get stuck in to the laundry folding level of work. I love folding laundry. Do you have any? I'm very good at it. No really.

Look at this. It's for Jeffrey Cohen and Lowell Duckert's Veer Ecology. It sounds good! The thing is, if you've written 185 essays, sometimes you surprise yourself with what you say or how you say it:

Since a thing cannot be known directly or totally, one can only attune to it, with greater or lesser degrees of intimacy. This is not a “merely” aesthetic approach to a basically blank extensional substance. Since appearance can't be peeled decisively from the reality of a thing, attunement is a living, dynamic relation with another being.

I'll Be Talking Remotely in Berlin on August 9

I'll be "in" (via Skype) Emilija Skarnulyte's new installation at Decad. Not quite sure of the time, I think 7pm Berlin time. If you haven't looked her up already, do so immediately. Everything she does embodies why I think art is beyond important and in particular articulates an incredibly beautiful and powerful ecological feminist post-humanism. But that's just the conceptual aspect. Skarnulyte is committed to making unbelievably precise and gorgeous objects (visual, sonic...) and is a true powerful film maker, the kind who is ready to climb into a gigantic radio telescope dish or become a mermaid and swim in freezing arctic water with a nuclear sub.

I was just at this incredible film symposium in Lithuania and it convinced me that  I totally love film and filmmaking for this and many other reasons. Just days of liquid light pouring out of a gigantic screen and people ready to put their bodies in jeopardy in acts of solidarity with human and nonhuman beings.

I'm going to see if I can livestream at least my part of the event.

Look what You Can Do with Marx if You Deploy OOO

(At least it sounds really nice lol) (this is also from the Naess essay proofs)

Time isn’t nice and neat either. Because of what I’ve just argued, time itself is not a line of reified atomic now-points, but a spooky shifting that haunts itself, slightly in front or behind itself, the rippling play of light and shadow in the pond water reflected on the underside of a sundial on a late summer afternoon, a vibrant stillness that is far from static. The present is haunted by the X-present. I call this manifold of present and X-present nowness, a shifting, haunted region like evaporating mist, a region can’t be tied to a specific timescale.

Nowness is a dynamic relation between the past and the future. According to the spectral logic I’m outlining, the present isn’t present! It doesn’t exist, at least not like that. The belief that “animals” are superior or inferior to humans because they live in an eternal now is untrue, because no being lives in a now. Furthermore, past and future are artefacts of the structure of entities as such, and are to be found nowhere outside of them. The form of a thing, its appearance, is the past. My face is a map of everything that happened to my face. A beehive is a story about what happened when some bees chewed some wax. There is a contextual abyss about appearance: we can’t draw the line decisively as to when the face stops and its explanatory context—all the things that happened to give it this exact appearance—begins. This provides the basis for the “nightmare” quality of past states of humankind that weigh on us: there might be no end to the “weight of dead traditions.”

On the other hand, the essence of a thing, its being, is the future. few are not entirely caught like algorithms in the gravitational pull of the past. There is also levity: the lightness of futurality. The future is also an abyss. What will happen to my face next? I’m unsure, not just because it’s hard to predict at least somewhat far into the measureable future, but for the deeper reason that the measurable future depends on an infinite (uncountable) futurality, the withdrawal-quality of a thing, so that whatever access mode I use (thinking-about, dabbing-lotion-on, photographing-a-selfie-of), my face slips away like a liquid. The one place our ultra-utilitarian culture has cordoned off as a zone in which this kind of thing is barely tolerated is called art. But in truth everything behaves like that. Everything is a railway junction where past and future are sliding over one another, not touching.

Appearance is the past; being is the future; nowness is the relative motion of future over past, not touching. A thing is a junction of two abyssal movements. Solidarity is the noise the symbiotic real makes in its floating, spectral nowness, conditioned by the past (otherwise known as trauma), yet open to the future. Creativity and enjoyment are a “disabled,” malfunctioning relative motion between past and future, appearance and being.

X-existence happens in the symbiotic real because the ontological structure of a thing allows it. To exist is to X-exist. You can’t be counted as one. But you also can’t be counted as two. Your spectral double is your spectral double, not some frog’s. But it isn’t proper to you. It’s highly improper, in fact; it violates every notion of property and propriety. It’s indecent of fish to breathe air. The manifold of species and X-species is fractal: it lies somewhere between one and two, and the logic of this in-between area must be modal: it must violate strict versions of the Law of the Excluded Middle, so that things can be sort of true, kind of real, slightly wrong. It is as if every indicative sentence is shadowed by its subjunctive double, the sentence in “perhaps” mode. The sentence is open. It isn’t nothing, and it isn’t exactly something. Meaning as such is its spectral shadow. Who knows what a poem is really saying? But this poem is this poem, not that poem.

Tim versus Deep Ecology Master Arne Naess

The basic question is, how deep do you want? Because I think you could go at least a level deeper than Naess. In order to do so, however, you have to realize something about systems theory. Here's a quotation from some proofs I'm reading for an essay collection on Naess:

I need to part company with Naess a little bit, the aspects of his thought that seem to want to reduce the paradoxes I am hinting at, by reducing the lifeform to an underlying field of relations:

Organisms and milieux are not two things—if a mouse were lifted into absolute vacuum, it would no longer be a mouse. Organisms presuppose milieux. Similarly, a person is a part of nature to the extent that he or she is a relational junction within the total field. The process of identification is a process in which the relations which define the junction expand to comprise more and more. The “self” grows towards the “Self.”

But the mouse would still be a mouse in a vacuum, albeit a dead mouse. There is nothing about this fact that means we have to make the mouse less real than “the total field” of which it is “a relational junction.” Care for this specific mouse, whom I don’t wish to die in a vacuum, would ironically be precluded by cleaving to this blend of systems theory and Hinduism. Systems theory is a derivative of very advanced industrial society, while Hinduism is one way in which agricultural society explains itself to itself. To the extent that industrial society is an accelerated upgrade of the inner logics of agricultural “civilization,” systems theory is indeed in part a re-imagination of an ecologically violent set of beliefs, hardwired into agricultural social space. Both depend upon a widely accepted, but never rigorously proved, form of holism in which the whole is always greater than the sum of its parts. Space prevents me from delving into another way of thinking holism here, but I want to take this opportunity to say how urgent it is for ecological thinking to reconceptualize what we mean by holism. If the parts are always subservient to the whole, less real and less important, there is no way to care about the mouse as a mouse.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Humankind: Dialogue between Me and the Genius Artist Paul Johnson

This was so good. Paul had the idea of making a fire instead of the usual living room on stage set up for these things. What a great thing. I got to be the person who stokes the fire, which is great, because I'm a total pyromaniac!

I think this is one of the best live things I ever did so I hope you like it too.

Human-kind: A talk between Paul Johnson & Timothy Morton, 2017 from Camden Arts Centre on Vimeo.


Sorry for all the delays. My life got very busy after the Guardian piece came out.

So I'll be on the BBC's flagship news and current affairs show Newsnight on August 22.

Soon I'll be in Mexico City.

I've managed to persuade Yoko Ono to put some of her work in my Penguin book!

I did a lovely dialogue with Paul Johnson: I'll embed it here.

And last week was Cinema Camp in Lithuania with some unbelievable film makers. More on all that soonest.

Right now I'm proofreading my Penguin book. You should be able to order my Verso book by now. It's like $13 for the hardback in the USA, which is a total steal.

I'm so excited for my Verso book coming out. I tried to think of the most offensive thing I could say, according to humanities scholars, and I say it:

We're all human beings, in the end, despite our differences.


Sunday, July 2, 2017


Righteous. I saw the latest version in Denmark a few weeks ago. Good name too: "This Is Not This Heat."

Friday, June 30, 2017

I Just Submitted This Review of Pink Floyd's Animals to iTunes

After a lifetime of listening to every Floyd album pretty much all the time--they're etched--Animals is the one I can listen to again and again. I mean out of both Syd ones and non-Syd ones, even.

It doesn't hurt that they gigged what turned into "Dogs" and "Sheep" for years before they put them down on vinyl.

For me, Animals is paired with Meddle, which is all about inner space (this one is about social space). Both predate one of the canonical "best" ones (Dark Side and The Wall respectively). Yet both are somehow really amazing, especially in how they show the band as a tight unit that can rock out. "Dogs" is the "Echoes" of this one while "Sheep" is an obvious rhythmical successor to "One of These Days." Both covers feature One Thing and both are greenish. Meddle has dogs and crows and simulated whales.

On Animals we hear Gilmour entering his majestic phase with a widescreen coldness that is also found on his first solo album. Some amazingly strong singing on "Dogs." And that basic arpeggiated seventh chord: fantastic. Likewise on Meddle he's pulling away from Barrett and starts to feel it his way. That parched guitar solo in the middle of "Dogs" where at times it sounds like the guitar is smacking its lips trying to feel some moisture. Which eventually comes in the form of slime (I'll explain in a sec).

And you'd have to go back to live versions of "Embryo" around the time of "Meddle" to find anything like the intensity Waters puts into the pig-harmonica solo in "Pigs."

The musique concrète-like use of recorded sound is done with incredible dexterity, so that it's a whole extra instrumental layer or several. The initial sheep bleats are in tune with the outro of "Pigs."

And possibly this is the best line ever, found in "Sheep": "Wave upon wave of demented avengers marched cheerfully out of obscurity into the dream." I mean, wow.

And I actually love the framing song. It's got that waking up from a dream quality you also find on Meddle, only in this case it's waking up from nightmares, aka the dreams that haunt social space, their phenomenology realized in horrific detail. A shelter from utopias: a utopia within utopia; love it.

But in the end, what remains the most mindblowing on the nth listen is the Rick Wright keyboard work about 2/3 of the way through "Dogs." It's haunting and slightly disgusting and beautiful, unwinding in some sweet spot between nausea and ennui. Melancholic yearning and disgust yet beauty: nice one.

In many ways it's the uncanny double of stuff Wright plays on Wish You Were Here. Rather than wasting away like evaporating mist as on that previous album, the feeling here has more to do with sinking down into the earth, dragged down by the stone, indeed, falling into water, vibrating with intensity. Earth and water: slime. This is an expressionist tune, but in a much more subtle way than anything on The Wall except for "Another Brick in the Wall Part 1," which also features lovely Wright (and/or Wright-like) work.

This part of "Dogs" is central to the overall project. And this is how it goes beyond Meddle, though the basic theme of being in a dream is similar to the strange dream-like (in a bad way) expressionist social space of Animals, in a sort of blurry and less disturbing way. Wright and this section in general really vividly exemplify in scary detail how the animals on Animals live in the uncanny valley between humans and nonhumans, the space of zombies and other abject beings, a kind of mass grave whose invisibility makes the nonhumans (such as the whales and crows on Meddle) look nice and different (so that it's mostly funny in a flat way how the dog howls along to the blues, and whales sound alien; hey maybe the pig-harmonica on "Pigs" is Roger's way of atoning for making the dog do that on "Seamus.") It's good Cooper and evil Cooper. Which is awesome because these are domesticated animals and therefore subject strictly to the uncanny which has to do with home. The full uncanniness of the human "home" and how it becomes the Island of Doctor Moreau aka Nature is exposed on Animals. Yeah. It's an ecological record. Pollution is everywhere, in that ancient Greek sense of miasma, guilt experienced as abject body fluid, moral pollution defining what kinds of beings count in social space.

If you think this tune is all about Gilmour that's not correct. Rick's work is sitting in a Gilmour chord structure for sure. But listen to something like that structure on his solo album from the time and you'll definitely get what I'm saying. It's the Wright slime and the vocoding dogs and humans that make this into something very special.

I know the rest of the band wasn't rating him at the time. Doesn't matter. Just listen to it.

Rick's piercing, pitch-bending, minor-key modulating "Dogs" solo is intertwined with the word "stone" that vocodes into the muffled moaning of the primordial slime, while dogs bark in tune as if rippling in a deserted underwater disco on either side of the stereo image, a sardonic human whistle vainly attempting to bring them to heel. It's a siren, it's that human whistle transformed, it's a funk keyboard rotting away in the compost by the railway line. Bingo.

You can easily compare what Wright does there to what Gilmour does in the very strange part of "Echoes," also about 2/3 in. Gilmour is also piercing, and vocal-sounding.

PS: When people who have never been to the UK ask me where I'm from, I say I grew up on the cover of Animals. Which is geographically and psychologically and aesthetically (always loved that building) pretty accurate as it goes. I grew up in a haunting postindustrial landscape where prehistoric ferns grew among tens of railway tracks surmounted by brilliant arc lights where birds nested and sang in the dead of night, because for them it was day. A couple of miles, give or take, from Battersea Power Station. Some of that technologically mediated melancholia can be heard in early drum and bass, where the use of sirens is quite Rick Wright-ish. My fried Heitham and I talk about growing up in this region all the time.

This actually explains a lot about my stance on ecological things.

Automated Sadism

The puzzle — and it is a puzzle, even for those who have long since concluded that something is terribly wrong with the modern G.O.P. — is why the party is pushing this harsh, morally indefensible agenda.

Think about it. Losing health coverage is a nightmare, especially if you’re older, have health problems and/or lack the financial resources to cope if illness strikes. And since Americans with those characteristics are precisely the people this legislation effectively targets, tens of millions would soon find themselves living this nightmare.


[T]his story began with a politically convenient lie — the pretense, going all the way back to Ronald Reagan, that social safety net programs just reward lazy people who don’t want to work. And we all know which people in particular were supposed to be on the take.

Now, this was never true, and in an era of rising inequality and declining traditional industries, some of the biggest beneficiaries of these safety net programs are members of the Trump-supporting white working class. But the modern G.O.P. basically consists of career apparatchiks who live in an intellectual bubble, and those Reagan-era stereotypes still dominate their picture of struggling Americans.

Or to put it another way, Republicans start from a sort of baseline of cruelty toward the less fortunate, of hostility toward anything that protects families against catastrophe.

In this sense there’s nothing new about their health plan. What it does — punish the poor and working class, cut taxes on the rich — is what every major G.O.P. policy proposal does. The only difference is that this time it’s all out in the open.--Paul Krugman

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Healthcare Is My Third Rail

"Under Obamacare, the majority leader’s home state, Kentucky, experienced one of the biggest reductions in the rate of uninsured people of any state in the nation."--NYT

The beyond stupid sadism of this only has to do with the momentum behind the effort to destroy Obamacare: "a black man created a law, so thousands of Americans must now die." (About 29 000 per year it has been estimated, once they go back to being screwed by the insurance companies.)