Hope and Wish Image in Music Technology


Hope and Wish Image in Music Technology



This book proposes that new music technologies attract unconscious desires for socialism and collectivity, enabling millions of people living under capitalism to dream of repressed social alternatives. Grounded in the philosophical writings of Ernst Bloch and Walter Benjamin, the book examines file sharing technologies, streaming services, and media players, as well as their historical antecedents, such as the player piano, cassette tape, radio and compact disc, alongside interpretations of fiction, memoir, and albums. Through the concept of wish images―the unconscious hopes and desires for social alternatives that gather around new technologies―the book identifies the repressed pre- and post-capitalist urges that attend our music technologies. While these desires typically remain unconscious and tend to pass away not only unmet but also unrecognized, Hope and Wish Image in Music Technology attempts to bring wishes for social alternatives to the surface at an auspicious moment of technological transition.

Publication Date



Palgrave Macmillan


music technology, philosophy, Ernst Bloch, Walter Benjamin, Theodor W. Adorno, socialism, capitalism, wish images, commodity culture


Arts and Humanities | English Language and Literature

Original Publication Information

Palgrave Macmillan

Hope and Wish Image in Music Technology