Saturday, September 24, 2022,
Museum of Science and Technology, 51 Dobračina Street
11:00 Introduction speech: Маја Lyon, author of the program
11:15 Lecture: Dr Ivanka Dunjić Jovanović: Metaverse and Psychoanalysis
It is a basic assumption of the early psychoanalysis that the mind develops due to the inability to directly satisfy the drives. This pretty reductionist idea puts all the complexity of not just our mental life, but the cultural and social upgrade as well, in the function of the conflict between the principle of pleasure—release of accumulated tension, and the principle of reality. Luckily, as an open theoretical system that searches for answers and increasingly more complex paradigms with the purpose of contextualising the relationship between the inner and external reality, psychoanalysis did not die with modernism. In this lecture, we shall try to perceive the understanding of the phenomenon of metaverse through some psychoanalytical concepts such as the death drive, narcissism, transient phenomena and intersubjectivity. However, a question arises if the existing theories help us understand the relationship between the man and the digital world or if new paradigms are needed and if so, are they in the domain of psychoanalysis. In other words, paraphrasing the idea from the Terminator film series, we can say that we know that people need machines, but we are wondering if the machines will need the people (as we now know them).
11:45 Panel discussion: Dr Ivanka Dunjić Jovanović and Dr Zorica Tomić: Metaverse — Creating New Worlds
13:15 Lecture: Маја Lyon: Black-and-White World of the Digital — Emotions that Make Life Meaningful
Theory of hyperpersonal communication explains the model of interpersonal communication mediated by digital technologies, when the hyperpersonal sender of the message has a greater ability to strategically develop and edit their image, thus enabling selective and optimised representation of one’s self to others. Lacking previous personal experience and knowledge of the other, hyperpersonal communication and the resulting relationship may have the quality of an illusion. Absence of corporeality, physical contact, look, smell and other experiences that are the result of face-to-face contact, increases the need for an “enhanced” message sent to the recipient in cyberspace. Although the messages may differ, the emotions that lay at the basis of them have a tendency to be coloured by exaggeration, either idealising of a devaluating one.
Projective identification, apart from the function of a primitive defence mechanism, when parts of the ego and internal objects are separated and ascribed to external object, in psychoanalysis, also represents an important channel of psychological and interpersonal communication. We shall use one of its derivates, concept of hyperbole of Wilfred Bion to explain how in the hyperbolic state of mind, strong emotions are robustly projected to enormous distances and amplified, and we shall try to understand how that “campaign” impacts our thinking apparatus and the capacity to achieve closeness. Does the new way in which people meet and create relationships enhances closeness or isolation? When does the “enhanced message” get too much? How do we cope with the rejection in the digital and what are the consequences of the inability to cope with “enhanced emotions”?
13: 50 Lecture: Danilo dr Pešić: Digital and the Death Drive
Although it is primarily related to the data expressed in non-continuous values and technology, the determiner digital represents a metonymy for a network of virtual communications, global possibilities of connection, development of new forms of community on the Internet and new forms of subjectivity. If we apply Deleuze’s idea that “machine is always social before it becomes technical”, it is more precise to say that digital technology is a product of digital culture and not the other way around. Considering the context, in this article, analogue and digital are considered through the psychoanalytical concept of the duality of death and life drives, through Marcuse’s idea of Eros that includes multiple levels of logic, and Bateson’s idea of multiple levels of learning. We review the “fetishization of the digital” and connected tendency towards regression to lower levels of complexity and inhibition of learning. Given that we live in a society oversaturated by digital technology, which makes it “natural” and invisible, although it affects deep self-structures, constant critical re-examination from psychoanalytical and group-analytical point of view is necessary.
14:20 Presentation of research results: Dobrinka Kuzmanović and Oliver Tošković
Experiences of the Young People on the Internet — Time Spent on the Internet, Online and Offline Friendships and Risky Behaviour
15:10 Virtual presentation: Aleksandra Džambić: and dr Željko Jovandić Digital Sexuality — Satisfaction of Frustration