Engaging Lacanian theory with recent work in New Materialism and Object Oriented Ontology, this essay explores Blade Runner 2049’s anxiety over technological birth as an expression of the anxiety-point of the capitalocene. That is, as New Materialism’s “flat ontology” demonstrates, objects have taken on a more ambiguous and uncanny status in our modern era, when humans and their environment are more “intertwined.” The essay interprets New Materialism as a symptom of the capitalocene and uses the psychoanalytic concept of the uncanny to interpret Blade Runner 2049 as an expression of capitalist power struggle and the antagonisms that define it in an age environmental collapse.
Anxiety is this cut—this clean cut without which the presence of the signifier, its functioning, its furrow in the real, is unthinkable—it’s the cut that opens up, affording a view of what now you can hear better, the unexpected, the visit….—Lacan, 76
The uncanny is always at stake in ideology—ideology perhaps basically consists of a social attempt to integrate the uncanny, to make it bearable, to assign it a place.—Mladen Dolar, 19
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Bove, A. (2021). What Happens When the Replicants Become Extimate? On the Uncanny Cut of the Capitalocene in Blade Runner 2049. In: Neill, C. (eds) Lacanian Perspectives on Blade Runner 2049. The Palgrave Lacan Series. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-56754-5_8
Publisher Name: Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
Print ISBN: 978-3-030-56753-8
Online ISBN: 978-3-030-56754-5