Voyeurism and Exhibitionism on the Internet: The Libidinal Economy of the Spectacle of Instanternity


  • Bara Kolenc Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia




voyeurism, exhibitionism, internet, digital virtual, pathological narcissism, spectacle, vision


Today, in the situation that we call the instantiernity of the digital age, the visual aspect of the social (and power) relations is ever more important. A majority of human interaction on internet is happening in the field of vision. In this field, human desire follows the scopic drive, which is, according to Freud, expressed in the ambivalence of voyeurism and exhibitionism. This means that voyeurism and exhibitionism are the fundamental mechanisms operating in, and structuring, the digital virtual. This topic, in a broader sense, tackles the inscription of the subject within the digital virtual spectacle, which deals with the relation between individual’s imaginary and symbolic identification, that is, between ideal ego and ego ideal. To a certain extent, this also relates to what has been marked as »pathological narcissism«. Even if the changes brought about by the digital virtual, as far as the subject is concerned, are not ontological, i.e. they do not concern its relation to being, they do concern its entry into the field of the Other, and can, because they are systemic changes, fundamentally restructure the social fabric. The bet of this article is therefore not only to try to understand the mechanisms driving the formation of subectivity within the digital virtual, but also to trace their transformative potential.


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How to Cite

Kolenc, B. (2023). Voyeurism and Exhibitionism on the Internet: The Libidinal Economy of the Spectacle of Instanternity. Filozofski Vestnik, 43(3). https://doi.org/10.3986/fv.43.3.09