chapter  3
37 Pages

The Media End

Digital afterlife agencies and techno-existential closure
WithAmanda Lagerkvist

What is the prospect of disconnection – of a media end – in a digital memory culture that one-sidedly celebrates the virtues of non-stop connectivity, limitless perpetuation and endless recording? Is any form of closure whatsoever conceivable when technologies afford practices that allow for unprecedented continuing bonds with the dead online? Meditating existentially on the human givens of endings and closure – and their place or displacement in media theory and culture – poised against the horizons of ‘forever’ as these manifest themselves within our contemporary digital ecology, this chapter attends to the digital inheritance area, and to forms of digital eternity currently in circulation, as well as a few services for ending media life. With a particular focus on agency, as a troubled yet imperative piece of the contemporary digital and existential puzzle, it argues that techno-existential closure seems both repressed and incited somehow by the emergence of the digital afterlife.