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To sleep, perchance to dream: Michael Hardt reviews Jonathan Crary's 24/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep

Marianna Reis10 September 2013

In his recent Artforum review of Jonathan Crary's 24/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep, Michael Hardt praises Crary's take on the changing temporality of daily life under capitalist development.  Hardt's admiration for the text lies particularly in Crary's ability to lament the erosion of social conditions without relying on nostalgia for the past or proclaiming impending doom:

Some critiques of technological innovation steer clear of the dual perils of nostalgia and hopelessness by recognizing that the new, in addition to intensifying the means of control and domination, also contains the seeds for previously unknown potentials for liberation. That is a core element of Marx’s own critique of capitalist technologies, for instance. Does 24/7 capitalism create its own gravediggers—that is, antagonistic subjects who arise “inside” and directly as a consequence of capital’s own development? Is there a way not only to sabotage, to jam the gears of, the nonstop machine but also to transform its tools into weapons for liberation? 

While Crary's text paints a bleak picture of a destructive and hyper-capitalist present, Hardt surmises that Crary nevertheless finds hope "in the time of sleep, when we can dream a better future".   

Visit Artforum to read the full review.

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