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The User Unconscious

On Affect, Media, and Measure

2018
Author:

Patricia Ticineto Clough

The User Unconscious

Wide-ranging essays and experimental prose forcefully demonstrate how digital media and computational technologies have redefined what it is to be human

These stimulating essays and experimental compositions demonstrate how digital media and computational technologies fundamentally affect our sense of self and the world we live in, from human and other-than-human perspectives. Moving from affect to data, Patricia Ticineto Clough reveals how digital media and computational technologies are not merely controlling us—they have already altered what it means to be human.

Over the past decade, digital media has expanded exponentially, becoming an essential part of daily life. The stimulating essays and experimental compositions in The User Unconscious delve into the ways digital media and computational technologies fundamentally affect our sense of self and the world we live in, from both human and other-than-human perspectives.

Critical theorist Patricia Ticineto Clough’s provocative essays center around the motif of the “user unconscious” to advance the challenging thesis that that we are both human and other-than-human: we now live, think, and dream within multiple layers of computational networks that are constantly present, radically transforming subjectivity, sociality, and unconscious processes.

Drawing together rising strains of philosophy, critical theory, and media studies, as well as the political, social, and economic transformations that are shaping the twenty-first-century world, The User Unconscious points toward emergent crises and potentialities in both human subjectivity and sociality. Moving from affect to data, Clough forces us to see that digital media and computational technologies are not merely controlling us—they have already altered what it means to be human.

The User Unconscious

Patricia Ticineto Clough is professor of sociology and women’s studies at the Graduate Center and Queens College, City University of New York. She is author of Autoaffection: Unconscious Thought in the Age of Teletechnology (Minnesota, 2000), Feminist Thought: Desire, Power, and Academic Discourse, and The End(s) of Ethnography: From Realism to Social Criticism. She is editor of The Affective Turn: Theorizing the Social with Craig Willse, editor of Beyond Biopolitics: Essays on the Governance of Life and Death, and, with Alan Frank and Steven Seidman, editor of Intimacies: A New World of Relational Life. Clough is also a psychoanalyst practicing in New York City.

The User Unconscious

Contents
Introduction
Notes towards A Theory of Affect-Itself
Patricia Ticineto Clough, Greg Goldberg, Rachel Schiff, Aaron Weeks, and Craig Willse
War by Other Means: What Difference Do(es) the Graphic(s) Make?
Praying and Playing to the Beat of a Child’s Metronome
Gendered Security/National Security: Political Branding and Population Racism
Patricia Ticineto Clough and Craig Willse
My Mother’s Scream
Feminist Theory: Bodies, Science, and Technology
A Dream of Falling: Philosophy and Family Violence
The Datalogical Turn
Patricia Ticineto Clough, Karen Gregory, Benjamin Haber, R. Joshua Scannell
The Object’s Affects: The Rosary
Rethinking Race, Calculation, Quantification and Measure
And They Were Dancing
Ecstatic Corona: From Ethnography to Performance
Acknowledgments
Notes
Previous Publications
Index