Automatisches Leben, also Leben

Author(s): Wills, David


This paper analyzes Descartes′s famous early jotting: «so I …[...] advance masked (sic ego [...]… larvatus prodeo)», as well as sections of Genesis, in order to raise a series of questions about the autobiographical formation of the subject (later to become the res cogitans or thinking self) as a function of what I call «automatic life». Such a self, whether mind, rudimentary «ego», hominid, or indeed larval life form, is understood to be constituted by masking, or prosthetization, that is to say an originary adoption of forms of technology or artificiality. Conversely, autobiography is understood not just as the writing of the life of a self, but also as a graphic automation or inanimation that precedes and even gives rise to life.

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Preferred Citation
Wills, David: Automatisches Leben, also Leben. In: Zeitschrift für Medienwissenschaft, Jg. 3 (2011), Nr. 1, S. 15-30. DOI: 10.25969/mediarep/2511.
 author = {Wills, David},
 title = {Automatisches Leben, also Leben},
 year = 2011,
 doi = {10.25969/mediarep/2511},
 volume = 3,
 address = {Berlin},
 journal = {Zeitschrift für Medienwissenschaft},
 number = 1,
 pages = {15--30},
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The item has been published with the following license: Unter Urheberrechtsschutz