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Thursday, May 12 • 4:00pm - 5:00pm
You Have the Right to Rest: Arbitrating the War on Sleep

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With sleep deprivation being historically weaponized in interrogation and warfare tactics it comes to some surprise that such little attention is given to the education and protection of our nation’s own sleep health. Johnathan Crary’s analysis in his 2014 publication 24/7 underscores the issues of sleep health that proliferate late capitalistic society. Unceasing consumer-production demands, addiction to visual and social media, the ever-present wakening force of electric light, and the absence of sleep health educational programs add up to an endangering ignorance of sleep-related disease and imminent disaster. The preventative practice that could save us from the fatalistic nature of sleep deprivation is kept out of reach in order to sustain an “always on” consumerist culture. Arbitrating the war on sleep falls to the powerful collective appeals of art, science, education, and public policy formation.

The erosion of sleep is an erosion of physiological health as well as psychological stability and an undermining of a universal cultural connection. Sleep and dreams are revered by past cultures in fictive mythologies, art, and literature. Our disconnection from sleep is a disconnection from humanity.

Liminal sculpture artist Aaron Williams leads this discussion with an introduction to his installation studies on sleep medicine, philosophy, and mythology entitled somnbody somnwhere. Williams co-facilitates sleep research by repurposing clinical tools such as electrooculography and medicine-related concepts like sleep-debt into sculptural performances embedded with digital applications.

This discussion invites attendees to address the question: How can liberal arts restore sleep to a restless society? Participants will be prompted to critically analyze the problems of sleep in current society and how technology, education, and the humanities can collectively uproot these issues. Emergent strategies connect interdisciplinary places of research through the philanthropic effort to restore the right to rest.


Thursday May 12, 2016 4:00pm - 5:00pm MST
COOR 186 975 S Myrtle Ave Arizona State University Tempe, AZ 85281

Attendees (2)