Bright Eyed: Insomnia and Its Cultures (Exploded Views) (Paperback)
For forty years, RM Vaughan has been fighting, and failing, to get his forty winks each night. He's not alone, not by any stretch.
More and more studies highlight the health risks of undersleeping, yet we have never been asked to do more, and for longer. And we can't stop thinking that a lack of sleep is heroic: snoozing is a kind of laziness, after all. But why, when we know more about the value of sleep, are we obsessed with twenty--four--hour workdays and deliberate sleep deprivation?
Working outward from his own experience, Vaughan explores this insomnia culture we've created, predicting a cultural collision -- will we soon have to legislate rest, as France has done? -- and wondering about the cause--and--effect model of our shorter attention spans. Does the fact that we are almost universally underslept change how our world works? We know it's an issue with, say, pilots and truck drivers, but what about artists -- does an insomnia culture change creativity? And what are the long-term cultural consequences of this increasing sacri?ce for the ever-elusive goal of 'total productivity'?
'RM Vaughan ... is] easily amongst the top ?ve art critics working today. I've seen Vaughan turn phrases that have the forcefulness of Christian Viveros Faune, the plainspoken insight of Dave Hickey, and the lyricism of Peter Schjeldahl. Vaughan should never have to do anything but write. '-- Paddy Johnson, editorial director, Art F City New York
RM Vaughan is a Canadian writer and video artist who lives in Berlin and Toronto. Vaughan is the author of nine books and a contributor to over 50 anthologies. His videos and filmed performances play in galleries and festivals around the world.