Jonathan Crary

Jonathan Crary is Meyer Schapiro Professor of Modern Art and Theory at Columbia University and is a founding editor of Zone Books. His books include Techniques of the Observer, Suspensions of Perception, and Incorporations (coeditor).


  • While There's Still Time: Jonathan Crary on Chantal Akerman's D'Est

    We were saddened to learn of the death of Chantal Akerman. Below is Jonathan Crary's consideration, from 24/7of her 1992 film D'Est.

    Chantal Akerman’s film D'Est (From the East), made in 1992 and early 1993, carries a heightened self-consciousness about the circumstances of [its] weighty historical moment. Shot mainly in Poland and Russia in the year and a half following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, it discloses a world in suspension, on the edge of an undetermined future, yet still weighed down by long-standing patterns and habits. Using very long takes, it is an extended portrayal of certain textures of everyday life, sometimes suggesting a Sartrean seriality. In her essay on D'Est, Akerman famously declared that she felt the need to make the film “while there’s still time” (“tant qu’il en est encore temps”). In one sense, she meant that she had to finish the project before it was too late, before cultural and economic forces transformed the subject of her work into something different, even unrecognizable. But, given the choices she made of what to record, “while there’s still time” is also a way of saying: while there is still a world of time-in-common, a world sustained by a collective inhabiting and sharing of time and its rhythms, in the older sense of the word “quotidian.”

    Continue Reading

  • Tate book-buyer, Simon Armstrong, picks his favourite way-to-work books of 2014 for Verso

    Simon Armstrong is the book buyer for Tate Modern and Tate Britain in London. Instead of an end of year list of art and design bestsellers, he sent us a list of some of the best books he has been reading on the bus to work in 2014:

    Private Life: Why We Remain In The Dark
    Josh Cohen

    The notion of personal privacy viewed through the prism of psychoanalysis, with literature and film references tossed around everywhere. The effect is rather like squeezing your brain into a Soda Stream - thoughts collide, bubble up, fizz and pop in this excellent book of ideas. It's all very internet-and-personal-information debate relevant, with the added bonus of being a brilliant primer on Sigmund Freud.

    Continue Reading

  • ‘Who benefits from our insomnia?’: Jonathan Crary's 24/7 makes the French press wake up

    "What is a society that does not sleep?"—Esprit

    Is the fate of the white-throated sparrow, which can fly 7 consecutive days without sleep, the future of humanity within capitalism?—Mediapart

    These are the questions that are being asked in France today after the massive popularity and sudden influence of the French translation of Jonathan Crary's 24/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep. In fact, Crary's 24/7 has garnered much attention in France for his "Strolling style that commands admiration" (Le Monde) which shows how capitalism deregulates the natural need for sleep (Politis). Earlier this summer, 24/7 was elected as book of the week in the "World of Books" selection of Le Monde Books and received numerous positive reviews in periodicals such as Philosophie Magazine, Télérama, Mediapart, L'Humanité, Libération, and many more.

    Continue Reading


  • 24-7_pb_cmyk-max_103


    “A polemic as finely concentrated as a line of pure cocaine” – Los Angeles Review of Books

    16 posts