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Taboos are constructed around the moment, around vanity, narcissism, masturbation. The contingency of the screen in our culture means, however, that the mirror stage never reaches terminus. The power of even non -reflective screens, notably cinema, is to nonetheless produce and reflect, metaphorically, desire, and to present nonconforming imagos that alter, temporarily at least, the ego and the physical characteristics of the viewer, as the viewer alters toward them via desire.

Witness or experience the adoption of the mannerisms, diction, or quotation that takes place in spectacular identification: the cowboy walk, the swagger, the empowerment or demurement that comes from the screen, or the acquisition of anxieties possessed by the projected fictional characters upon whom and into whom we project, etcetera.


Usually, this is temporary, and might only last until the spectator exits the cinema into daylight and begins to feel self-conscious about identification with the unreal. It is frequently undone by failures with the film itself, a lack of charisma in the actors, boredom.

And most of us do not spend so much time in cinema auditoriums, whereas real mirror time quickly accumulates. Now, the ubiquity of the reflective technological screen sustains the mirror stage far beyond the power of antique mirrors to do so. Add to this the windshield or window of the commuter, the glass facades of consumer capitalism, and the presence of the reflected self becomes inescapable, and thus invites, or coerces the I into obsessive contemplation, and contemplation implies adjustment, adaption.

Adjustment in the face of our reflection is virtually irresistible. The cultural interventions and maturation that lead to the termination of the mirror stage are usurped by the near-omnipresence—in ironicized cultural interventions—of the reflective surfaces of technologies. Because no person experiences their subjectivity in the narcissistic plane of a mirror without making at least some minor adjustment, to their person or viewing angle, the desire for modification in a perpetual reflection threatens to become neurotic.

Anyone who makes their living working with a screen knows boredom, and it is a simple shift of focus to find the reflected self, staring back out of that boredom, that dissatisfaction with the self and its position in the world. The banalities of the screen can induce profound boredom, anger, helplessness, and inertia, and that inertia is informed by the ironic failure of the screen to inform, the disappointment in the virtual. This inertial trap leads, in Lacan, to neurosis, psychopathology, or madness afflicting the I.

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But there is no longer any I to speak of in screen-based contingency, posthumanism or posthumanities. The infantile I that the child experiences briefly as a marionette figure that it seems to operate in the glass is interrupted, and continually obliterated by the aspirational, paradoxical, duplicitous competitors it fantasizes on the screen, from which it cannot sufficiently break, with the physical self sublated by pixels, yet always present—if obscured by the emanating light of the screen—in the device before it.

PHILOSOPHY - Michel Foucault

That the generation most immersed in screen-contingency is also the most self-conscious in terms of the vulnerabilities and potentials of the self in performance, recognition, subjectivity, and visibility is neither coincidental nor surprising. The looking glass, the iPhone, the iPad, is seldom out of hand, even as it has been transformed, and they in turn pass through it toward willing fragmentation. Silver in Ellie Ragland-Sullivan ed.

Rose in J.

The mirror stage as formative of the function of the I

Mitchell and J. Rose eds. Forrester, W. Blonsky ed. The Psychoses , edited by Jacques-Alain Miller, transl. Lorand and M.

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Balint eds. The Psychoses, Part II, trans. Stuart Schneiderman in Lacan Study Notes , vol. Rose, in J.

Lacan - Mirror Stage - 1 The mirror stage as formative of...

Feldstein, B. Fink, M. Mirror stage is also called the imaginary stage or mirror stage is also a part of imaginary stage. In this stage, firstly, child feels its image coherent.

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It feels united with the mother's body. Secondly, the child feels that the image does not belong to itself.

Lacan: The Mirror Stage

The image has separate existence. So, the sense of harmony and alienation goes on simultaneously during the imaginary phase. Lacan claims that the sense of unification and the sense of alienation do not remain only in the mirror stage. This sort of double sense remains throughout our life. This mirror stage is also called pre- linguistic stage where child first identifies himself with mother and at the same time it identifies itself to be alienated from mother too.

This splitting result to the symbolic stage and the aporia is created. In this stage man moves linguistically in to the chain of signifiers and this is never ending process. The presence of father in the form of language threatens the child's unification with the mother.