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Image technologies and visual culture

There is a great interest at the present time in new vision and image technologies. Unsurprisingly, extravagant claims are being made about their radical implications for social and cultural transformation. It is said that we are undergoing an ‘image revolution’ on an unprecedented scale, and this supposed revolution is then associated with the historical transition to a postmodern era. The proliferation of screen culture is now routinely associated with projections about the coming into being of a new order of simulated reality. We are enthusiastically appraised of the pleasures of the interface and the possibilities of techno-sociality. Mundane realities and experiences seem to pale in comparison to dreams of virtual life and cyberculture. Have faith in these technologies of the future, the new technovisionaries exhort us, embrace the emancipatory potential of the new technoculture. Invest your trust and optimism in this brave new vision. What we have in this idealisation of image technologies is the basis of a new utopianism (in what seem otherwise to be post-utopian times).