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Aesthetics of the Virtual

Roberto Diodato, Silvia Benso, John Protevi, Justin L. Harmon

Publication Year: 2012

Reconfigures classic aesthetic concepts in relation to the novelty introduced by virtual bodies. Arguing that the virtual body is something new—namely, an entity that from an ontological perspective has only recently entered the world—Roberto Diodato considers the implications of this kind of body for aesthetics. Virtual bodies insert themselves into the space opened up by the famous distinction in Aristotle’s Physics between natural and artificial beings—they are both. They are beings that are simultaneously events; they are images that are at once internal and external; they are ontological hybrids that exist only in the interaction between logical-computational text and human bodies endowed with technological prostheses. Pursuing this line of thought, Diodato reconfigures classic aesthetic concepts such as mimesis, representation, the relation between illusion and reality, the nature of images and imagination, and the theory of sensory knowledge.

Published by: State University of New York Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-5


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pp. v-7

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pp. vii-viii

We philosophers have a number of animal self-images, almost a bestiary of who we are and what we do. It is as if the images of the human were too limited for what we have accepted as our calling. Thus, one of the great challenges and privileges of philosophy is to take up again the gadfly’s task and to ask questions of the everyday. It is not ...

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pp. ix-x

... And here things could be counted, each one. He knew the number of grains of sand in the construct of the beach (a number coded in a mathematical system that existed nowhere outside the mind that was Neuromancer). He knew the number of yellow food packets in the canisters in the bunker (four ...

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1 Aesthetics of the Virtual Body

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pp. 1-14

By “virtual body” I mean in the first place an interactive digital image,1 the self-phenomenalization of an algorithm in binary format arising in its interaction with a user-consumer. It is a function of writing that, in its sensible appearance, at the same time exposes and conceals the translation project through ...

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2 My Body in the Virtual environment

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pp. 15-33

Reflection on the concept of presence within virtual environments has been unfolding for years,1 and has seen contributions from scholars representing many different disciplines2 with the goal of enabling the construction of environments capable of best simulating the complex sense of presence that constitutes our perceptive belief. ...

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3 Forms of expression

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pp. 35-52

there is no crisis of mimesis except the one occurring on the surface.1 We know of the semantic amplitude of the term, which cannot be reduced to a process of imitation, and which, in certain theoretical frameworks, has come to mean the fundamental structure of ...

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4 Toward the Image

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pp. 53-67

As has been noted, the concept of simulacrum is dependent on a mimetic structure of the image in which the latter is ontologically dependent on something other than itself. It is always conceived as image of, such that to be image means to resemble some other. If this ...

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5 Metaphors of the Virtual

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pp. 69-89

First of all virtual space, like time, or time-space if we want concretely to determine a field of experience, can be said in many ways, depending on the type of virtuality to be examined. The first movement of reflection affirms that virtual space is a field of qualitative and quantitative individuation, and thus ...

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6 The Concept of the Virtual

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pp. 91-100

At this point, however, Lévy plays the virtual-actual pair against the possible-real pair, where the sense of the opposition between possible and virtual is taken from Deleuze. This is a delicate point, and we must ...

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7 The Virtual Actor-Spectator

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pp. 101-110

As we have seen, the virtual has the peculiarity of being an intermediate entity between object and event, thing and image: “Virtual space is no longer an intelligible substrate. It is an object of modeling and constant interaction with other modeled objects. Virtual space, insofar ...

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8 For an Aesthetics of the Hypertext

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pp. 111-118

... Naturally, the chunks connected by links can include not only verbal data, and so hypertext is also hypermedia. Now, as we know, from this definition Landow traces out some interesting consequences at the level of theory, such as to involve notable and rather diverse contributions from the likes ...


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pp. 119-145


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pp. 147-156


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pp. 157-161

Back Cover

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p. 178-178

E-ISBN-13: 9781438444376
Print-ISBN-13: 9781438444352

Page Count: 144
Publication Year: 2012