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Desires of Time and the Digital


Desires of Time and the Digital - Marta Celletti. 2-4 November APCAP 2007 ... Crutchfield, J. P. (1990). Complexity: Order contra Chaos. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Desires of Time and the Digital

Desires of Time and the Digital
  • Marta Celletti
  • School of Cultural and Social Science
  • University of Western Australia

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  • Method
  • The concept of Desire
  • The concept of Time
  • Some Digital Times
  • Some productive desires of Time
  • Bibliography

Nomad Thought
  • playing with concepts
  • concepts as tools (hammers, fork and knife)
  • how they are used
  • to which aim
  • in various context
  • a lot of ideas
  • production of
  • change
  • political intervention

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  • I am not interested in what it is, what is the
    real and true nature of this concept.
  • I am curious about how it works,
  • for what it has been used for,
  • and how it has been used so far.

The interesting question
  • What is time?
  • What is digital time?
  • The opposite of real time ?
  • What reality is?
  • What people do with the concept of time?

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Lacanian Desire
  • In Lacanian psychoanalysis, the term desire
    designates the impossible relation that a subject
    has with objet petit a. According to Lacan,
    desire proper (in contrast with demand) can never
    be fulfilled.

Object petit a
  • In the psychoanalytic theory of Jacques Lacan,
    objet petit a stands for the unattainable object
    of desire. It is sometimes called the object
    cause of desire.
  • objet petit a as the imaginary part-object an
    element which is imagined as separable from the
    rest of the body. He articulates objet a with the
    term agalma (Greek, an ornament). Just as the
    agalma is a precious object hidden in a worthless
    box, so objet petit a is the object of desire
    which we seek in the other. (1957, Les formations
    de l'inconscient) (1960-1961 Le transfert )
  • objet petit a is defined as the leftover, the
    remnant left behind by the introduction of the
    Symbolic in the Real. (1962-1963 L'angoisse)
    (1964 The Four Fundamental Concepts of
  • In the Discourse of the Master, one signifier
    attempts to represent the subject for all other
    signifiers, but a surplus is always produced
    this surplus is objet petit a, a surplus meaning,
    a surplus of jouissance. (1969-1970 The Other
    Side of Psychoanalysis )
  • objet petit a (object little-a) Lacan always
    insisted for it to remain untranslated "thus
    acquiring the status of an algebraic sign."

The Politics of Lack
  • Lacan
  • Freud (libidinal economy) consciousness/desire
  • Marx (political economy) production/ideology
  • Plato Desire is lack. Impossible to fulfill other
    than in dreams

The body/mind divide
  • Embodiment
  • Disembodiment
  • Politics at play
  • What is my politics here?
  • Virtuality as terra nullius?

  • What is more postmodern than the Internet?
  • What is more modern than the dichotomy body/mind?

Ramachandran Box
Ramachandran Box
  • The patient places the good limb into one side of
    the box (in this case the right hand) and the
    amputated limb into the other side. Due to the
    mirror, the patient sees a reflection of his good
    hand where his or her missing limb should be
    (indicated in lower contrast). The patient thus
    receives artificial visual feedback that the
    "resurrected" limb is now moving when he or she
    moves the good hand

Ramachandran Box
learned paralysis
  • Their hypothesis was that every time the patient
    attempted to move the paralyzed limb, he or she
    received sensory feedback (through vision and
    proprioception) that the limb did not move. This
    feedback stamped itself into the brain circuitry
    through a process of Hebbian learning, so that,
    even when the limb was no longer present, the
    brain had learned that the limb (and subsequent
    phantom) was paralyzed. Often a phantom limb is
    painful because it is felt to be stuck in an
    uncomfortable or unnatural position, and the
    patient feels he or she cannot move it.
  • Ramachandran Blakeslee 1998

  • Because this visual feedback elicits kinesthetic
    sensations, Ramachandran and Rogers-Ramachandran
    refer to this as a kind of visual-kinesthetic
    synesthesia, although this is true only in the
    broadest sense of the term.
  • Ramachandran Rogers-Ramachandran 1996

  • Synesthesia from the Ancient Greek s?? (syn),
    meaning "with," and a?s??s?? (aisthesis), meaning
    "sensation"'is a neurologically based phenomenon
    in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive
    pathway leads to automatic, involuntary
    experiences in a second sensory or cognitive

Spatial Neglect
  • Hemispatial neglect, also called unilateral
    neglect, spatial neglect or neglect syndrome is a
    neurological condition in which, after damage to
    one hemisphere of the brain, a deficit in
    attention to the opposite side of space is
  • Neglect may also present as a delusional form,
    where the patient denies ownership of a limb or
    an entire side of the body.

  • Delusions typically occur in the context of
    neurological or mental illness, although they are
    not tied to any particular disease and have been
    found to occur in the context of many
    pathological states (both physical and mental).
    However, they are of particular diagnostic
    importance in psychotic disorders and
    particularly in schizophrenia.

  • A false belief based on incorrect inference about
    external reality that is firmly sustained despite
    what almost everybody else believes and despite
    what constitutes incontrovertible and obvious
    proof or evidence to the contrary. The belief is
    not one ordinarily accepted by other members of
    the person's culture or subculture (e.g., it is
    not an article of religious faith).
  • The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental
    Disorders (DSM) is a handbook for mental health
    professionals that lists different categories of
    mental disorder and the criteria for diagnosing
    them, according to the publishing organization
    the American Psychiatric Association

The Politics of Lack
  • Lacan
  • Freud (libidinal economy) consciousness/desire
  • Marx (political economy) production/ideology
  • Plato Desire is lack. Impossible to fulfill other
    than in dreams

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Desiring Machine
  • Deleuze and Guattari oppose the Freudian
    conception of unconsciousness as a "theater",
    instead favoring a "factory" model desire is not
    an imaginary force based on lack, but a real,
    productive force.

Desiring Machine
  • They describe the mechanistic nature of desire as
    a kind of "Desiring-Machine" that functions as a
    circuit breaker in a larger "circuit" of various
    other machines to which it is connected.

Desiring Machine
  • Meanwhile, the Desiring-Machine is also producing
    a flow of desire from itself.

Politics of Desire
  • Desire as distinctly political
  • Desire as Productive Desire (not ideological, not
  • Capitalism as the greatest repression of desiring
    production in history
  • Desiring machines those that are engaged in
    productive desire
  • Gilles Deleuze, Félix Guattari Anti-dipus

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What is Time? If no one asks me about it, I
know if I want to explain it to the one who
asks, I dont know Augustine XI
Lets have a look at time
  • different conceptions of time,
  • how they get used in society and
  • in knowledge organisation
  • their stratifications in the discourses on
    digital technologies

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Different conceptions of time
  • Classic Time
  • Modern Time
  • Contemporary Time

Time used in society/culture
  • Cyclical Time
  • Linear Time
  • Chaotic/Complex Time

Time used in Organisation of Knowledge
  • Time of Habits
  • Time of Memory
  • Time of Becoming

Stratifications on Digital Technologies
  • Time of Procedural Technology
  • Time of Data Base
  • Time of Search Engines

Some Times of the Digital
  • Reversed Time day/night, work shifts, solitude,
  • Parallel Time following the rhythm of events,
    recomposing continuity, asynchrony of blogs,
    mails, alerts
  • Speed Time Intense, slow motion, different

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  • Asyncronicity
  • without the presence of the other?

  • Desire desiring an answer to an e-mail,
    extension of imagination?
  • Productive Desire producing the possibility for
    this time to come

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Virtuality as Desiring Machine
  • It is only when immanence is no longer immanence
    to anything other than itself that we can speak
    of a plane of immanence

Deleuze, Gilles, Pure Immanence Essays on A
Life, Anne Boyman, trans., New York Zone Books,
Virtuality as Desiring Machine
  • An opportunity to politically act
  • To reshape the concept of the body
  • To rethink the concepts of space and time
  • To learn to use these concepts differently

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  • Augustine. Confessions, book XI.
  • Bergson, H. (1913). Creative Evolution. London
    Macmillan and Co.
  • Crutchfield, J. P. (1990). Complexity Order
    contra Chaos. Paper presented at the
    International Conference on Fuzzy Logic and
    Neural Networks, Iizuka, Japan.
  • DeLanda, M. (1997). A thousand years of non
    linear history. New York Zone Books.
  • Deleuze, G. (1978). Le cours of Gilles Deleuze on
    Kant. Retrieved July, 2005, from
  • Deleuze, G. (1994) Difference and repetition.
    London The Athlone Press.
  • Deleuze, G. (2004). Fuori dai cardini del tempo
    lezioni su Kant. Milano Associazione culturale
  • Fabian, J. (1983). Time and the Other how
    anthropology makes its object. NY, Oxford
    Columbia University Press.
  • Guattari, F. (1995). Chaosmosis an
    ethico-aesthetic paradigm. Sydney Power

  • Kant, I., Wood, A. W., Guyer, P. (1998).
    Critique of pure reason. Cambridge New York
    Cambridge University Press.
  • Latour, B., Woolgar, S. (1979). Laboratory life
    the social construction of scientific facts.
    Beverly Hills Sage Publications.
  • Mandelbrot, B. (1983). The fractal geometry of
    nature. San Francisco Kant, I., Wood, A. W.,
    Guyer, P. (1998). Critique of pure reason.
    Cambridge New York Cambridge University Press.
  • Nicolis, G., Prigogine, I. (1989). Exploring
    Complexity. Munich GmbH Co.
  • Prigogine, I., Stengers, I. (1984). Order out
    of chaos man's new dialogue with nature.
    Toronto New York, N.Y. Bantam Books.
  • Ruelle, D. (1989). Chaotic Evolution and Strange
    Attractors. Cambridge, NY Cambridge University
  • Sophocles, Hölderlin, F., Constantine, D.
    (2001). Hölderlin's Sophocles Oedipus
    Antigone. Tarset Bloodaxe.
  • Stengers, I. (2000). The Invention of Modern
    Science (D. Smith, Trans.). Minneapolis
    University of Minnesota Press.

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