Techno-fear and the Future-less

Amanda Beech

Time has been spent looking for proof in the empirical world that the life we encounter now is different to and better than yesterday. Difference has been and remains our mantra.

The aesthetics of technology has been central to this myth—this is the myth of a moving forward, a unilateral directionality that has in its target the abstraction of our freedom to come. This is our future.

Culture gave up on this means end thinking some time ago and the future was decreed a false hope. Thinking the future instead meant that we embrace failure. The future as progress is false. The future is the mark of impossibility. Future leaves us with the chaos of the now and the making sense of yesterday as a flimsy substitute for our original aspirations to plan and to know. This failure to think the future has registered our limits in thought and action. This identification of impossibility has been the definition of our knowledge and our constraint.

This problematic preoccupation with knowledge has maintained the future only as an incredible hope for a freedom to come but one that we will never empirically know. The future something that we can only theorize and sadly, this happens in the least imaginative sense.

Accelerationist theory as well as Vilém Flusser’s theory on the technological image enjoys another self-destructive scenario. This is where technology as capitalist material manifests the lie of progress in the drama of an affectual immersion of ‘the everything’—an ecstatic union of the biological with the technological. For Flusser as much as it went for Baudrillard, we live in the milieu of mediation—that unreal stuff that annihilates ‘real’ identity and situates us in the world of evil image. But for Flusser this world of detritus will eat itself. Its evolution is the story of its own catastrophe and emergent from this death-state will arise a new form of life where the human can govern.

But are these tales of redemption and tragedy our only possibilities here?


The future does not exist in these terms. The future is not a hope, nor the kind of fiction in the way we might imagine fictions to be set against or in opposition to our reality. The future hasn’t happened. The future might…but it is beyond chance. The future is without guarantee. We must dissect such contradictions that are the consequences of the measures we have seen away from a real logic. The technological image will not end. The future is borderless. The future is not a measure for difference. The future is non- spatial. The future is not a fiction.

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