Die unheimliche Verkehrung. Anmerkungen zu einem Topos der Moderne

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Is technological control taking the place of what appeared uncannily uncontrollable? Or is it itself becoming uncanny? Two seemingly contradictory narratives have shaped the history and theory of technology. The narrative of disenchantment describes how nature, experienced as something foreign and dangerous, was tamed by becoming scientific and mechanised. Secondly, the narrative of (re-)enchantment recounts how artefacts and technological possibilities become uncanny, especially by way of their seeming independence and by confronting us with an ‘autonomous’ logic of their own. In today's debates about self-learning, ubiquitous, invisible and opaque technologies, the uncanny moment resonates of a technology with ‘a life of its own’. Following up on the mechanisation and automation discourses of the 20th century, this contributes to the ‘demonisation’ of technology. On the one hand, technology makes the world familiar and comprehensible, e.g. by equating understanding with technical reconstruction. On the other hand, the technical reproduction of the world – or its radical transformation into an alienated one – is experienced as something disturbing. When artefacts appear to do ‘what they want’ or when large technical systems shape the world according to their ‘own logic’, a limit is reached that was already mentioned by Freud – we become uncertain whether we are still living in the modern world at all.
Original languageGerman
Title of host publicationAutonomie und Unheimlichkeit
EditorsAlexander Friedrich, Petra Gehring, Christoph Hubig, Andreas Kaminski, Alfred Nordmann
Number of pages30
Place of PublicationBaden-Baden
PublisherNomos Verlagsgesellschaft mbH & Co. KG
Publication date01.2020
ISBN (Print)978-3-8487-6395-5
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-7489-0486-1
Publication statusPublished - 01.2020