Deiknymena: Erotic revelations in cyberspace
by Cliff Bostock
“But who is imagining in cyberspace?As we surf the Web an apparent random series of images begins to arise that at some level has coherence to the psyche (if we can presume some kind of coherence is necessary to maintain our attention). Any web surfer can verify that this “dialog” can go on for hours. The lived experience is not of incoherence and disassociation. It is instead of fascination and learning. One feels in contact … but with what?
This too is similar to accounts of the mystery cults. One is taken over by the experience – specifically by the “god” in the experience at the center of the cult. Despite the balkanization, the fragmentation into various cults with different contents, the shared experience in all of them is of being overtaken. The same is true in cyberspace. To put it in Marshall McLuhan’s terms: We are re-tribalized (into newsgroups and chat rooms), but the particular content of the tribe doesn’t matter so much. Why? Because the medium itself is the message.
But, again, what is the fundamental quality of the medium – or, as the Greeks might put it, what is the god in the medium? Perhaps, as Ulansey seems to suggest, it is the collective psyche or anima mundi – the “megasynthesis” of matter and thought into a self-reflective colelctive envisioned by Teilhard de Chardin (1959).”
The line “…what is the god in the medium?” interests me here. It is a project of mine – the archetypes of cyberspace.