The Ecology of Attention

Written by Yves Citton | translated by Barnaby Norman
Polity | January 10, 2017

Information overload, the shallows, weapons of mass distraction, the googlization of minds: countless commentators condemn the flood of images and information that dooms us to a pathological attention deficit.

In this new book, cultural theorist Yves Citton goes against the tide of these standard laments to offer a new perspective on the problem of attention in the digital age. Phrases like paying attention and investing one s attention attest to our mistaken belief that attention can be conceptualized in narrow economic terms. We are constantly drawn towards attempts to quantify and commodify attention, even down to counting the number of 'likes' a picture receives on Facebook or a video on YouTube. By contrast, Citton argues that we should conceptualize attention as a kind of ecology and examine how the many different environments to which we are exposed from advertising to literature, search engines to performance art condition our attention in different ways.

Publisher's website


REVIEW

"Within the growing field of attention studies, Yves Citton?s new book is a superb and indispensable intervention. He provides a devastating analysis of the neoliberal attention economy and opens up crucial pathways for resisting its imperatives."--Jonathan Crary, Columbia University

More new titles

new titles

The Bottom of the Jar

By Abdellatif Laâbi, who won the Prix Goncourt for his oeuvre complète, The Bottom of the Jar is an exploration of Laâbi's childhood city in Fez, undertaken through Namoussa, his semi-fictional kindred spirit.
new titles

The Strange Death of Sullivan Chance

Part mystery, part adventure, part satire, this audacious novel unravels the tale of Sullivan Chance, a hick picked by a scheming TV producer to be the star of a new reality show (Roaring Forties Press, November 2014).
new titles

Learning What Love Means

A brilliant meditation on friendship, Learning What Loves Means provides an insight into a part of Foucault’s life and work that until now, remained unkown. The book won the prestigious Prix Médicis in 2011 when it was published in French.
1/3
MORE IN books
event

The Department of Missing Persons

September 25th | 6 pm
Columbia Maison Française (East Gallery, Buell Hall)
515 W 116 St
New York, NY
authors on tour

Lionel Ruffel

Jan. 22 - Feb 4, 2018
US TOUR
event

The Death of Stalin: Exclusive Footage and Interview with Fabien Nury

October 5th | 7:45 - 8:45pm
Javits Convention Center
655 West 34th St., NY10001
event

Educator Meetup: A Gathering of Educators and Comics Industry Professionals

October 5th | 3:45 - 4:45pm
Javits Convention Center
655 West 34th St., NY10001
event

French Comics Kiss Better: Bande Dessinée 101

October 5th | 1:15-2pm
NYPL, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Margaret Liebman Berger Forum
Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street
New York, NY
1/3
recomended for you
event

Educator Meetup: A Gathering of Educators and Comics Industry Professionals

October 5th | 3:45 - 4:45pm
Javits Convention Center
655 West 34th St., NY10001
event

NYCC "After-Party": Meet International Creators

October 9th | 6-7:30pm
Books Kinokuniya, 1073 Avenue of the Americas
1073 Avenue of the Americas
event

Comics Cabaret: Live Comics Screening & Signing

October 6th | 6:30 - 9:30pm
The Society of Illustrators
128 E 63rd St, New York, NY
event

The Death of Stalin: Exclusive Footage and Interview with Fabien Nury

October 5th | 7:45 - 8:45pm
Javits Convention Center
655 West 34th St., NY10001
event

French Comics Kiss Better: Bande Dessinée 101

October 5th | 1:15-2pm
NYPL, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Margaret Liebman Berger Forum
Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street
New York, NY