By Scott Bukatman
Drawing on quite a lot of modern theories of the postmodern—including Fredric Jameson, Donna Haraway, and Jean Baudrillard—Bukatman starts with the proposition that Western tradition is agony a difficulty because of complicated digital applied sciences. Then in a chain of chapters richly supported by means of analyses of literary texts, visible arts, movie, video, tv, comics, computing device video games, and photos, Bukatman takes the reader on an odyssey that strains the postmodern topic from its present challenge, via its shut encounters with expertise, and at last to new self-recognition. This new "virtual subject," as Bukatman defines it, situates the human and the technological as coexistent, codependent, and mutally defining.
Synthesizing the main provocative theories of postmodern tradition with a very encyclopedic therapy of the appropriate media, this quantity units a brand new average within the research of technology fiction—a type that itself will be redefined in gentle of this paintings. Bukatman not just deals the main designated map up to now of the highbrow terrain of postmodern expertise studies—he arrives at new frontiers, supplying a propitious launching element for additional inquiries into the connection of digital expertise and culture.
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Extra resources for Terminal Identity: The Virtual Subject in Postmodern Science Fiction
As Karrie Jacobs writes: "In the information age figurative logos carry too much baggage. "26 As with our politicians, corporations now attempt to construct a new identity which bears little relation to real space, real time, real activity. ' "27 Baudrillard, in his most science fictional mode, uses gravitational metaphors to describe the implosion of human experience within fields of information transmission. Orbital circulation becomes the matrix of the implosive process, replacing the dialectical passage between poles.
Yet there is a utopia to be found in the science fiction film, a utopia that lies in being human, and if utopia is always defined in relation to an other, a nonutopia, then the numberless aliens, androids, and evil computers of the SF film are the barbarians storming the gates of humanity. Jameson regards utopias as privileged discursive objects because they permit the emergence of cultural anxieties. A structuring tension between rationality and biology, power and infantilism, civilization and its discontents exists in SF film, but it was once recontained by God's 16 INTRO- DUCTION 17 INTRO- DUCTION will, manifest destiny, human "nature," etc.
More effective works emphasize the displacement within (and through) that continual interface of forms, images, and technologies. I am not suggesting that superimposition is strictly a postmodern attribute-Ernst, Eisenstein, Joyce, and Man Ray are obviously implicated in strategies of juxtaposition and spatiotemporal distortion. These manifestations are, however, connected to the very different historical phenomenon of modernism; they respond to different representational forms and different master-narratives.