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    The demise of the analogue mind: digital primal fantasies and the technologies of loss-less-ness

    Jacobs, Amber (2015) The demise of the analogue mind: digital primal fantasies and the technologies of loss-less-ness. In: Frosh, Stephen (ed.) Psychosocial Imaginaries. Studies in the Psychosocial. Springer, pp. 126-144. ISBN 9781349570096.

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    In 2011 the British artist Tacita Dean’s installation FILM opened in the Turbine Hall of the Tate Modern in London as part of the Unilever series. It was an 11-minute silent 35mm montage film projected onto a 13 metre high monolith standing at the end of the darkened hall. This work was her response to ‘a particular historical moment, in which the rapid shift from analogue to digital technologies threatens the medium’s survival’ (Dean 2011, p.8). Dean’s passion for celluloid, for the photochemical (analogue) process of creating audiovisual objects and her deep mourning for its demise is shared by the 80 artists, musicians, filmmakers and writers she commissioned to write in her catalogue about what they consider to be the profound cultural and psychic loss we, as a generation, are supposedly in the process of suffering as a result of analogue obsolescence. The installation and the catalogue read both as a doomed polemic or manifesto calling for the resistance to the totalizing embrace of the digital revolution and simultaneously a melancholy eulogy, in Adrian Searle’s words1: a ‘homage or requiem’ to the dying medium of analogue film. What becomes clear when considering Dean’s installation and catalogue in the broader context of contemporary techno-cultural change is that what is being mourned here is in no way confined to aesthetic process, to art, and filmmaking but instead Dean et al. are mourning a way of being, an ontology, a model of psyche and subjectivity: the death of a particular model of mind — what Thomas Elsaesser calls ‘the analogue model of trace and imprint’ (2009, p.102) which for Marina Warner are ‘meta-physical qualities’ that ‘connect to deep-seated feelings about loss’ (Dean, 2011, p.136).


    Item Type: Book Section
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 17 Mar 2020 09:41
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:58


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