Metaphorology of Flows and Streams
Mathias Denecke’s PhD project focuses on the metaphors of stream and flow within a philosophical-psychological context since the late 19th century. The project takes a closer look at the changing notions of the usage of these terms in relation to the respective technological conditions. The model used is the “general cyberneticization” (Hörl 2011). The initial point is the reflection of the contemporary insisting of stream and flow metaphors, soaking a myriad of different discursive fields. Highlighting the conveyed notions of mediation, the metaphors implicitly address continuity and immediacy. Hence, streams and flows are understood as a symptom. The “technological unconscious” (Clough 2000; Thrift 2007; Neyrat 2011) is considered to be the underlying condition.
Tracking this supposed ‘becoming-unconscious’ of technology, the analysis focusses on the “stream of consciousness” as theorized by William James. The project is parti-cularly interested in the modes of translation between (human) consciousness and (natural) environment. The main aim is to entangle the concepts of the stream of consciousness and the technological unconscious. This allows not only for a reflection of a pathway of the metaphors’ usage until today. Moreover, it enables describing the relation between the mediation of environment and consciousness on the one hand and technological conditions on the other. Eventually, the project unfolds the spectrum of the ‘always-already’ mediatedness (cf. Sprenger 2012) of consciousness, environment, and the technological conditions.