To pay attention: the battle to enter our heads - From the economy of attention to the ecology of attention - | Tabakalera - Donostia / San Sebastián

From the economy of attention to the ecology of attention

Philip-Guston-Box&Shadow-1976-© 2018 The Estate of Philip Guston

Philip-Guston-Box&Shadow-1976-© 2018 The Estate of Philip Guston

 

Economy of attention, the inability to concentrate, weapons of mass distraction, “googlization” of the mind: countless commentators condemn the flood of images and information that, from television to the Internet and including video games, seem to condemn us – especially the youth of today – to a pathological attention deficit.

In this conference, the French thinker Yves Citton will offer an overview of these issues that goes against the tide of the current standard laments. Yes, the excessive request for our attention is a problem that must be placed at the centre of our economic analyses, our pedagogical reforms, our ethical reflections and our political struggles; but, no, the advent of the digital age does not condemn us to a future of brutalising distraction.

How to redirect our attention? What should we give it to? Should we all learn to “manage” our attentional resources in order to be more “competitive”? Or should we instead become more attentive to each other and to the environmental challenges (climatic and social) that threaten our existential context?

Yves Citton defends the second approach and elaborates some key issues for an “ecology of attention” as an alternative to an over-stimulation that crushes us. We hope you find time to listen to it ...

 

Yves Citton is a professor of literature at the University of Grenoble and co-director of the magazine Multitudes. Among his various publications, on the subject of this talk he has published, in French, Towards an ecology of attention (Le Seuil, 2014) and The economy of attention: New horizon of capitalism? (La Découverte, 2014)