Untimely Ripped (against the mass image)

Cubitt, Sean. 2018. Untimely Ripped (against the mass image). Ubiquity: The Journal of Pervasive Media, 5(1), pp. 13-23. ISSN 2045-6271 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

I take the Aristotelean view that the question for ethics is ‘How should I live?’ and the question for politics is ‘How are we supposed to live?’ Aristotle’s next step was to argue that in both instances, these are questions about the good life. These are fundamentally aesthetic questions. So let me advance as a hypothesis that the reason for doing any of the art, science and critique we undertake is happiness. The world we have is unhappy, so happiness depends on negating what is given to us as the world. That is what images do: they negate the world in order to produce pictures that are more startling, richer, surer, more filled with meaning and more desirable than what we have to inhabit. Even images of unhappy events attempt to heal them. An
image aspires to happiness. The proliferation of images is a different matter.

Item Type:



happiness, mass image, atemporal time, labour, negation

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies


14 June 2018Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

15 Jun 2018 09:17

Last Modified:

11 Jun 2021 05:05

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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