which now lacks even a specific state. The very things which identify and distinguish the human
- eyes, a face, etc. - are gone and instead the “human” figure functions only as a tool for the
complete realization of the iPod.
Within the fantasy space created by the ad, the iPod becomes the face with which we
identify. Our outlines are drawn and bodies traced around it, and it in turn effaces everything but
We are encouraged to now see ourselves in the product, and human identity is conflated
with the product. The iPod comes to be personified through the manipulation of our lack, gaining
intelligibility while the human figures have become shadows. This deliberate movement of co-
option and insertion of consumer products into the chain of unconscious displacements
ultimately calls into question whether or not Freud’s fantasy subject can counter capitalism’s
move to colonize desire. By articulating desire through fantasy, Freud’s subject is driven to some
extent by its own impossibility. To come too close to our object of desire is to threaten to
uncover the lack that is, in fact, necessary for our desire to persist. Therefore, our desires are
ultimately most interested in a constant scenic restaging and swerving away, not in fully
attaining the object of desire. It seems we must keep our distance in order to allow for our desire
And yet, if our fantasy and desire are born from the misrecognition of an initial fullness,
how can we defend ourselves against the constant barrage of consumer advertising that moves to
increase this constant lack in order to open up spaces for its own iteration? Advertisements seek
to relocate desire, the address that is made and what it conjures, and displace it onto the product.
In the case of the iPod, with constant uploads, new releases and upgraded versions, a constant
state of unsatisfied yearning is maneuvered to be maintained. The glossing over of race and class
The product proliferates its own identity into every sphere of life. Its beauty is in its personalisability, its ability to “synch up” to
almost everything. The recent release of the “OhMiBod,” a vibrator that connects to the iPod, is especially performative of this
merging at the most intimate level of the body.