The tain of the smart mirror

Show simple item record Baldwin-Ramult, Leo
dc.coverage.spatial Auckland, New Zealand 2021-01-14T00:40:46Z 2021-01-14T00:40:46Z 2020-11-28
dc.description.abstract This paper will address the smart mirror as paradigmatic of the pervasiveness with which the ‘Internet of Things’ is colonising the most intimate human territories. As increasingly sophisticated forms of artificial intelligence operate more stealthily in proliferating gadgetry, subjects find their modes of enjoyment ever more profoundly entangled with the commodities of techno-capitalism. Whilst products such as the smart mirror might propose some robust advantages, perhaps most significantly in healthcare, the design of these devices is clearly shaped by ideals of a perfectible technicity. Against such ideals, Freud (1961) provides a sceptical vision of relentless faith in technological progress, which, he claims, only succeeds in transforming the human into a “prosthetic God” (pp. 91–2). Lacan (1988), in the mid- 1950s, following major historic developments in the field of computing, delivers a brief but dire warning about the consequences of these new machines for humanity (p. 88). A current trajectory of the ideals embodied in smart technologies culminates in the notion of a ‘singularity’, whereby the human brain merges with artificial intelligence. For Žižek (2020), this entails the risk of elevating a real-world computer system to the status of “a materially existing big Other which is simultaneously a divine Other” (p. 161). Once again, psychoanalysis presents challenges to the dominant ontological mission of human-machine relations. I will mobilise these ideas by discussing how two contemporary artworks, Mario Klingermann’s Uncanny Mirror (2018) and Pierre Huyghe’s UUmwelt (2018), evoke the ways artificial intelligence might intervene in human subjectivity. As a response to these two works, I will position my own creative practice as one which uses Freudian thought to explore the impact of new techno-cultural conditions on contemporary subjects.
dc.relation.ispartof Can't you see I'm burning? Centre for Lacanian Analysis 2020 annual conference
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dc.title The tain of the smart mirror
dc.type Conference Item 2020-12-15T01:36:49Z
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The author en
pubs.finish-date 2020-11-28
pubs.start-date 2020-11-27
dc.rights.accessrights en
pubs.subtype Conference Paper
pubs.elements-id 831923

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