In his book Hyperobjects Thimothy Morton introduces the idea of a class of objecs that are so large that they transgress our abiblity to percieve them. Enormous objects that traverses all dimensions and conventional ideas of time and space. The weather, the solar system, the atmosphere. Global heating, the internet or the financial system. Huge complex entities – impossible to graps, slipping away from perception.
On the cover of the book and as a first attempt at illustrating such phenomena Morton uses the iceberg, a small part visible and most of it hidden under water. The iceberg though is not the best illustration. Apart from their size and being partly hidden, hyperobjects have two other qualities that makes them hard to grasp:
We are inside them – and can only see them from the inside. What this means for our perception is crucial. We can never look at a hyperobjects from the outside, we can never get proper distance and never an overview of such an object. We are bound to percieve it from within, and we will never be able to see the full object. It can only be percieved in fragments or partial appearences.
Morton talks of hyperobjects as ’sticky’; as I understand this ’stickyness’ is means that the hyperobjects stick to us and we stick to them. By being inside and a part of the hyperobject we influence the hyperobject, no matter if we want to or not. The atmosphere is a good example of this ’stickyness’. As I breathe my breath influences the oxygene-balance of the atmosphere – to tiny, tiny measures, but still it influences the atmosphere. If I drive my car, I am influencing the level of CO2 in the atmosphere. All my activities sticks to the air, and the air sticks to me.