Issue 4/2019

Digital Unconscious

The ever more closely meshed form assumed by digitization also gives rise to new questions that cannot immediately be answered by critical awareness. What happens if digitality, while penetrating ever more forcefully into all spheres of life and culture, comprises a dimension that is simply not available or tangible to consciousness and cognition? What if the digital is a dimension that, although increasingly shaping reality, is simultaneously a parameter that grows less comprehensible in terms of conventional standards of reality? And how can we even unmask this digital unconscious, which we at most intuit while lacking robust factual knowledge about it? The "Digital Unconscious" issue explores these questions on the basis of decisive contemporary scenarios. It homes in on aspects such as supposedly inexhaustible desire "in" and "for" the networked space, questions of “communing”, of working and living together in the digital realm, and facets of a productive force transcending everything subjective and individual, now beginning to develop beyond those spheres of consciousness that are accessible to us. A further key issue is the question of whether or how this amorphous digital unconscious can be represented in artistic form.

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Ines Doujak