Towards a New Unconscious : From the Optical to the Electromagnetic

Research output: Chapters, Conference Papers, Creative and Literary Works (RGC: 12, 32, 41, 45)12_Chapter in an edited book (Author)peer-review

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Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReconceptualizing the Digital Humanities in Asia
Subtitle of host publicationNew Representations of Art, History and Culture
EditorsKaby Wing-sze Kung
Place of PublicationSingapore
PublisherSpringer
Chapter8
Pages129-139
ISBN (Electronic)9789811546426
ISBN (Print)9789811546419
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameDigital Culture and Humanities
Volume2
ISSN (Print)2520-8640
ISSN (Electronic)2520-8659

Abstract

Machines “sense” the world in various ways, and their ways of sensing, in turn, affects the way humans experience the world. In A Short History of Photography (1931), Walter Benjamin uses the idea of an optical unconscious to describe the contributions of photography and cinema to the visible human world and the cultural consequences of such inventions. Compared to the pulsional unconscious delineated by Freud, a new type of the unconscious can be glimpsed in twentieth-century human beings, who have delegated their actions to technology. The definition of the optical unconscious fits particularly well with the environment of the late nineteenth century and twentieth century; however, it seems to be no longer appropriate in the twenty-first century, that has radically changed, far from the human eyes and largely invisible. This article intends to demonstrate the existence of a new type of the unconscious, an electromagnetic unconscious that better seems to define the contemporary situation.

Research Area(s)

  • Optical unconscious, Technological unconscious, Electromagnetic unconscious

Bibliographic Note

Research Unit(s) information for this publication is provided by the author(s) concerned.

Citation Format(s)

Towards a New Unconscious : From the Optical to the Electromagnetic. / Treccani, Carloalberto.

Reconceptualizing the Digital Humanities in Asia: New Representations of Art, History and Culture. ed. / Kaby Wing-sze Kung. Singapore : Springer, 2020. p. 129-139 (Digital Culture and Humanities; Vol. 2).

Research output: Chapters, Conference Papers, Creative and Literary Works (RGC: 12, 32, 41, 45)12_Chapter in an edited book (Author)peer-review