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Agency@?: Cyber-Diskurse, Subjektkonstituierung und Handlungsfähigkeit im Feld des Politischen

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Considering the abundant promises and euphoric expectations (as well as apocalyptic visions of technology) that still dominate discourses on media and technology my analysis focuses on their cultural and social condition, the specific moment of their emergence, their continuous persistence, their socio-symbolic function, and their implications for social contexts of thought and perception and for hegemonic relations. The techno-deterministic notion of a ‚paradigm change', the proclamation of a ‚radically new' definition of the subject and the idea of a technically conditioned abolition of traditional dichotomies is in fact contrasted by a striking adherence to conventional and dichotome models of thought and of representation, and to the idea of an autonomous and technologically perfectionable subject. My analysis will on the one hand focus on the function of exaggerated visions of technological development (predicating a dissolution of space, time, matter and identity) and the function of ideas of ‚alternative', ‚virtual' ‚spaces' for establishing specific notions of ‚society' - indicating a specific relation of phantasm and symptom as I will show. On the other hand I will develop the definition of a political subject - not conceived as a sovereign actor, nor as an arbitrary variety, but rather as constituted on the basis of a structural impossibility inherent in language and which alone can be, due to this very impossibility or antagonism a subject of the political. In the course of this argument the notion of sexual difference will be critically revised. Furthermore I will develop a definition of agency adequate to provide the grounds and the argumentative tools for the contestability of cultural and social constructs. My emphasis will be on the interdependencies of these questions and I will base my arguments on a notion of Cyberspace that defines it as a socio-symbolic construct comprising both technical implementations as well as the respective discourses and which continuously has to be negotiated. My approach combines structural psychoanalytical theory, hegemony studies, art theory, film theory, media studies, gender studies and cultural studies. As a transdisciplinary critical theory of representation and considering its statement of problems, as well as its focus, it differs from predominant approaches to current developments of technology to create perspectives on current technological dispositives and media constellations beyond prevalent techno-euphoric or pessimistic views.


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