Article

Recognition and the image of mastery as themes in Black Mirror (Channel 4, 2011–present): an eco-Jungian approach to 'always-on' culture

Details

Citation

Singh G (2014) Recognition and the image of mastery as themes in Black Mirror (Channel 4, 2011–present): an eco-Jungian approach to 'always-on' culture. International Journal of Jungian Studies, 6 (2), pp. 120-132. https://doi.org/10.1080/19409052.2014.905968

Abstract
There are plenty of examples in moving image culture, following quite distinct and innovative traditions in science fiction literature, where the role of technology seems to have afforded a utopian society; a society where all is clean and free of crime, where we need not worry about hunger, disease, or even the messy business of reproduction through physical intimacy. All needs catered for, all tastes accounted for; and in the middle of it all, a single, solitary human subject wondering that perhaps this is not the way that things were meant to be. In Black Mirror (Ch4, Zeppotron, 2011-present), Charlie Brooker has managed to craft some of the darkest visions of ‘always-on’ lifestyle to be aired on British television for some time. In this article, I discuss how themes of recognition and reflection in this series provide for us the opportunity to examine the cultural complex of what might be described as ‘negative affordance’, where the various characters misrecognise the relationships they have with other people. This occurs through intensification of the psychic image of mastery brought on through an amplification of pressure to engage in contemporary practices of ‘connectivity’. Black Mirror’s deft representations of social media use, and its implications for interpersonal relationships in our ‘always-on’ culture, allow us to rethink how such ‘negative affordance’ operates in relation to our online selves.

Keywords
Black Mirror; misrecognition; cultural complex; affordance; alienation; ‘always on’

Notes
Included in special issue on the moving image

Journal
International Journal of Jungian Studies: Volume 6, Issue 2

StatusPublished
Publication date31/12/2014
Publication date online21/05/2014
PublisherTaylor and Francis
ISSN1940-9052

People (1)

People

Dr Greg Singh
Dr Greg Singh

Associate Professor, Communications, Media and Culture