TECHNO-AESTHETIC DOUBLE BIND: IMMERSION, CODE, UNCONSCIOUS AND TRAUMA IN HARUN FAROCKI´S “SERIOUS GAMES”
Rui Matoso (2018)
The paper has his starting point in the video installation Serious Games III: Immersion, produced by Harun Farocki in 2009. This is the first work in which Farocki addresses directly the stereoscopic medium modulated by virtual reality and immersive technologies. In the preliminary investigations of Serious Games Farocki was faced with an unexpected circumstance, the military training simulators offers the same technology (Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy) to perform trauma therapies caused by Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) of warfare. Our hypothesis takes the access to the traumatic event and their unconscious memories, mediated by neotechnic devices and correlative scopic regimes. It is therefore important to check the operability of the concept of the technological unconscious, particularly from the readings that Derrida made on Freud about the unconscious as a typewriter. In the context of our study case is also relevant to mobilize Katherine Hayles is contributions to an understanding of the structural and emotional affinities between trauma and code. Finally, we will see that the Derridean hauntology, and the consequent spectral turn in digital humanities, are an integral part of what Catherine Malabou postulates: traumas are not caused by events or accidents, but by ghosts.
1. Serious Games — Immersion
All But War Is Simulation.
In the installation series entitled Serious Games2, project that Harun Farocki3 launched in 2009, he investigates how computer games, produced with virtual images of the Iraq war and developed by specialized companies in simulation design4 are used in therapeutic processes based in immersive psychotherapies — Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy5.
The connection between simulation projects for military training and entertainment culture based on 3D imaging consumption is notorious and globally recognized as constituting a powerful Military-Entertainment Complex. The large financing provided by DARPA6 for research in the field of imaging technologies and microelectronics forms the historical link between the computer simulation, virtual reality for military purposes and the entertainment industry.