chapter  1
24 Pages

THE TOUCH OF THE UNKNOWN

Whatever the promises of a new cultural, and even existential, order to come, there is really nothing that we should find surprising or unexpected in this techno-rhetoric. What is presented to us in revolutionary guise should, in fact, be recognised and understood in terms of restitution and restoration. For aren’t we all now familiar enough with the illusion of technology, that distinctively modern illusion of transcendence? An ordinary illusion (are we not all susceptible to its magical promises?), a compulsive illusion (it is sustained whatever its disappointments; there is always another technology, a next and therefore better technology, to believe in)—do we not recognise how fitted it has been to survive in modern times? It is the force of this technological illusion-now being revitalised through the new wave of

utopian projections around digital image technologies-that will concern me in the discussion that follows. What I want to consider is how technologies are mobilised in the cause of psychic needs and demands, which may be individual or collective.