Technologies of Magic: A Cultural Study of Ghosts, Machines and the Uncanny

Overview


Technologies of Magic charts curious territory--a place occupied by both machines and magic. This collection of essays investigates the co-existence of very old forms of thought--belief in ghosts, magic, spirits--and contemporary culture. Refracted through highly technologised societies, magic manifests itself in surprising ways and through a diverse range of practices.

Apprehension of the magical --- in the world of machines --- can give rise to a feeling of uncanny unease. ...

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Overview


Technologies of Magic charts curious territory--a place occupied by both machines and magic. This collection of essays investigates the co-existence of very old forms of thought--belief in ghosts, magic, spirits--and contemporary culture. Refracted through highly technologised societies, magic manifests itself in surprising ways and through a diverse range of practices.

Apprehension of the magical --- in the world of machines --- can give rise to a feeling of uncanny unease. These essays show that ultimately this produces another way of thinking about technology in contemporary culture.

"Technologies of Magic is both timely and historical: cogent in its contemporary observations and historically enchanting." -Esther Milne, RealTime 77

John Potts is associate professor in media and Edward Scheer is senior lecturer in the School of Media, Film, and Theatre at Macquarie Univeristy, Sydney. Other contributors include Chris Chesher, Anne Cranny-Francis, Annette Hamilton, Scott McQuire, Rachel Moore, Stephen Muecke, Andrew Murphie, and Patricia Pringle.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780909952358
  • Publisher: Power Publications NY
  • Publication date: 1/4/2011
  • Pages: 164
  • Product dimensions: 6.70 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Table of Contents


Introduction     vii
The Persistence of Magic in Modernity
Dream Cities: The Uncanny Powers of Electric Light     2
Love Machines     14
The Uncanny in Object Relations, or, the Emergent Ethnography of Machine Love     30
The Spatial Implications of Stage Magic     48
Ghosts and their Machines
The Ghost in/on the Machine: Magic, Technology and the "Modest Witness"     64
The Idea of the Ghost     78
Contingency on the Island of Ghosts     92
New Technologies and their Doubles
Magic and Consciousness     112
The Muse and the Electronic Invocator     125
Stelarc, Magic and Cyber-Ritual     141
Acknowledgements     157
Contributors     158
Index     160
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