Journal Article

Im/possible desires: media temporalities and (post)human-technology relationships



The general question of how our human desires can be supported by media technologies has produced a fairly constant endeavour in human history — and still does, for example in the shape of transhumanist hopes and aspirations. Over time, these desires have often driven development towards an, in the end, materialized technology. Many times, however, the desires have also not resulted in a physical product, but rather remained as ideas, conceptual sketches, or lo-fi prototypes. This essay will examine how such imaginary media technologies can be defined and categorized, why they are important to study, and how the underlying desires seem to be revitalized across centuries and decades. Such questions are of interest to transhumanism as they illustrate how desires, temporal relations, and human-technology relationships have been (and are) imagined both in the past, the present, and towards the future . So, while this essay is not a media archaeological excavation of transhumanist imaginary media only (which would be an interesting project in itself), it is a media genealogy of historically recurring desires to extend, substitute and enhance the human body and mind.

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  • Type:
    Journal Article (peer reviewed)
  • Journal:
    Confero: Essays on Education, Philosophy and Politics, Vol 4, Issue 2.
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About the Author

Jörgen Rahm-Skågeby

Rahm-Skågeby is an associate professor (docent) in media studies at Stockholm university. He holds a PhD in informatics geared towards interaction design and Human-Computer Interaction; a BSSc in information and media science (including behavioura... Read more


Rahm-Skågeby, J. (2016). Im/possible desires: media temporalities and (post)human-technology relationships. Confero: Essays on Education, Philosophy and Politics, 4(2), pp. 47-76. Available at: [Accessed 27 Nov. 2022]. doi: 10.3384/confero.2001-4562.161216.