The Infinite and the Intimate: Exploring AI Narratives and the Centrality of the Couple-Form

  • Author / Creator
    Narvey, Rachel
  • This thesis explores how the couple form is represented in four filmic objects: Her (2013), Bladerunner 2049 (2017), Ex Machina (2015), and “Be Right Back,” an episode of the TV series Black Mirror. I will argue that each of these films demonstrate that the couple fixates on the discreteness between the self and an ecological/ontological other. Further, the form is maintained through the repetitive pursuit of impossible closure, a teleology for teleology’s sake that reinscribes the couple’s ties to reproductive futurity. I will read the copy as motif within these objects, using it to elaborate on this pursuit of closure, showing that exchanges of coupled desire are dictated by their coherence or incoherence with a presupposed individual fantasy. I will argue that the copy in these films demonstrates a different approach to temporality and desire, one that emphasizes the convergence of multiple experiences and perceptions to produce an effect that is momentary and contingent, instead of presupposed. Exploring Lee Edelman’s figure of the sinthomosexual and its differing relationship to the copy, I will describe how Her and “Be Right Back” feature an alternate relationship to the sinthome that holds what is interpreted as meaning by the individual and what exists outside that meaning in tandem, and therefore facilitates the emergence of a new intimacy outside the hegemonic couple form. 

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2021
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.