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Dec 1, 2022 at 5:30 pm

Exhaustion & Labor in the Digital Age

The contemporary diseases of the digital age

UnionDocs is delighted to co-present a conversation and launch of Tung-Hui Hu’s latest book Digital Lethargy: Dispatches from an Age of Disconnection with the CUNY Graduate Center. Join us there to explore the exhaustion, disappointment, and listlessness experienced under digital capitalism, explored through works by contemporary artists, writers, and performers.

The book and this program will explore this modern ailment; digital lethargy is a societal pathology, like earlier forms of acedia, otium, and neurasthenia, but also a disease of performing selfhood under digital capitalism. Tung-Hui Hu makes the argument that digital lethargy helps us turn away from the demand to constantly “be ourselves” and see the potential of quieter, more ordinary forms of survival in the digital age such as collective inaction. (New Books Network)
He will be joined in conversation by Italian artist Elisa Giardina Papa (Venice Biennale, MoMA, Whitney), whose work investigates gender, sexuality, and labor in relationship to neoliberal capitalism and the borders of the global South.

This event takes place at the CUNY Graduate Center (365 5th Avenue New York, NY 10016) ROOM 5307.
**Proof of COVID vaccination or negative test required.**

Co-sponsored by the MS Program in Data Analysis and Visualization and UnionDocs.

Tung-Hui Hu is a poet and scholar of digital media. The winner of a Rome Prize and a NEA fellowship for literature, Hu has also received an American Academy in Berlin Prize for his research. He is the author of A Prehistory of the Cloud (MIT Press, 2015), described by The New Yorker as “mesmerizing… absorbing [in] its playful speculations”. His research has been featured on CBS News, BBC Radio 4, Boston Globe, New Scientist, Art in America, and Rhizome.org, among other venues. His brand-new book, an exploration of burnout, isolation, and disempowerment in the digital underclass, is Digital Lethargy (MIT Press, October 2022).

As a poet, he is the author of three books of poetry, The Book of Motion (2003), Mine (2007), and Greenhouses, Lighthouses (Copper Canyon Press, 2013), a chapbook, On the Kepel Fruit (Albion Books, 2017). His poems have appeared in places such as Boston Review, The New Republic, Ploughshares, the Academy of American Poets’s Poem-a-Day, and the anthology Family Resemblance: An Anthology and Exploration of Hybrid Literary Genres.

Elisa Giardina Papa is an Italian artist whose work investigates gender, sexuality, and labor in relation to neoliberal capitalism and the borders of the Global South. Her most recent body of work documents how past and present forms of capitalism have progressively extracted all capacities for labor and living—including sleep, affect, and emotions—and instead draws attention to everything in our lives, embodiments, and desires that remains radically unruly, untranslatable, and un-computable. Her work has been exhibited and screened at the 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia (The Milk of Dreams), the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA’s Modern Mondays), the Whitney Museum (Sunrise/Sunset Commission), Seoul Mediacity Biennale 2018, XVI Quadriennale di Roma, Rhizome (Download Commission), Flaherty NYC, UnionDocs, and ICA Milano, among others. She has given lectures at the Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women (Brown University), the Institute for Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies (McGill University), the Global Emergent Media Lab (Concordia University), and the Center for Digital Cultures (Leuphana University of Lüneburg), among others. Giardina Papa received an MFA from RISD, and she is currently pursuing a PhD in film, media, and gender studies at the University of California Berkeley. She lives and works in New York and Sant’Ignazio, Sicily.

Presented With

CUNY Graduate Center


CUNY Graduate Center 365 5th Avenue
New York, 10016
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Presented with

CUNY Graduate Center
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