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March 14, 2007

Networked Proximity - Section 7:


Virtuality and the Near

"[...] The fact is that the opposite of the virtual —as we will see— is not the real, but the actual. But before getting into that, we should acknowledge that setting up virtuality as a threat to reality has served an important function in critical theory. As part of a discourse on the shortfalls of modernity, virtuality has served as a powerful metaphor for describing the detachment we feel from ‘real’ life, the desire to reintegrate to a reality that seems to have been lost in the midst of simulations. Virtuality has frequently been the scapegoat for the anomie and alienation that accompany the lack of opportunities for meaningful social participation. But impugning virtuality in this way has prevented us from realizing its true value. Virtuality, as I intend to show with help from the work of Gilles Deleuze (b. 1925, d. 1995), can be employed to affirm the real, not devalue it —increasing our understanding and therefore our engagement with it. Furthermore, I also intend to show that networks do not really promote virtuality by creating a separate online social realm, but in fact obstruct references to virtuality, which can only be recuperated through the paranodal." Continue reading Networked Proximity - Section 7: Virtuality and the Near by Ulises Mejias.

Posted by jo at March 14, 2007 09:04 AM