The Interpretation of Screens

Benjamin Aldes Wurgaft at Bookforum:

Psychoanalysis might be the science of the soul, but it has never been the science of the disembodied soul. Freud was a medical researcher and clinician, and arrived at his method by attending to the bodies in the consulting room. He knew that voice and hearing were bodily affordances, and that technological aids and prostheses were part of daily life, not to be sneered at. In his 1913 essay “On Beginning the Treatment,” Freud describes how he arrived at his most important technological signature, the couch. Tired of his patients staring at him all day, he decided to have them recline, facing away from him. But he also noted that the arrangement in which a patient lies on a couch while the analyst sits behind them, out of sight, “has a historical basis; it is the remnant of the hypnotic method out of which psycho-analysis was evolved.” Freud went on: “I insist on this procedure . . . to isolate the transference and to allow it to come forward in due course sharply defined as a resistance.”

more here.