Aesthetics of the Virtual (SUNY series in Contemporary Italian Philosophy)

Aesthetics of the Virtual (SUNY series in Contemporary Italian Philosophy)

Roberto Diodato

Language: English

Pages: 172

ISBN: 1438444362

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


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.

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time, always qualitative. For programmers, this is a problem.9 Still in the attempt to come closer to a hard concept of virtual reality, a second exemplification of virtual body is offered by so-called immaterial sculptures. They are not digital images visible on a computer screen, but rather space-environments that take form in interaction with users, that is, virtual robots that appear in 3-D as holographic and holophonic organisms almost capable of “learning” data that are supplied by users

do not find the motif of “contraposition” to be persuasive, but the consequences are interesting: In one sense the entity conveys and produces its virtualities. An event, for example, reorganizes a previous problematic and is susceptible of being interpreted in various ways. In another sense the virtual constitutes the entity. The virtualities inherent in a being, its problematic, the knot of tensions, constraints, and projects that animates it, the questions that move it forward, are an

entity as possible implies a series of confusions regarding the entity’s structure, among which are the impossibility of grasping potentiality as a co-principle of the entity or as a transcendental relation, and the confusion—explicit in Lévy—between reality and substance. The latter, for its part, leads to the positing of a structural difference between substance, as a synonym for “real,” and event, which Lévy himself is at pains to mitigate. In fact, at the end of his book on the virtual, Lévy

effect of filling, of presence, as has been said above, and not of absence and distance. The spectator does not arise as a subject in a state of lack, which is virtual only in terms of potentiality. There is no suspension of reality, but rather the presence of another reality, not as a shelter from reality, but as its increase. What is cut off is precisely the aspect of regression and suspension of reality, and therefore, ultimately, the possibility—always plural—of selfidentifying with what is

perception; the subjective feeling or sensation of being present in an environment is thus characterized by a quality of perception. The question then is to analyze perception within the virtual environment in terms of how such an environment is different, or means to be different from a mediated environment (and therefore from the perceptual qualities that overlap, on a second level, the perception of the environment, as it occurs in mediations such as film, television, photography), and from

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