Crisis of Transcendence: A Theology of Digital Art and Culture
From the Internet to the iPhone, digital technology is no mere cultural artifact. It affects how we experience and understand our world and ourselves at the deepest levels-it is a fundamental condition of living. The digitization of modern life constitutes an essential field of religious concern because it impacts our individual and cultural sensibilities so profoundly. Despite this, it has yet to be thematized as the subject of religious or theological reflection. The Crisis of Transcendence remedies this by asking a single significant question: How is digital technology impacting the moral and spiritual depth of culture? How can something as ineffable and nebulous as the depth of culture be known and articulated, let alone critiqued? Author J. Sage Elwell suggests that an answer lies in the arts. The arts have historically acted as a barometer of the depth of culture, reflecting the spiritual impulses and inclinations at the heart of society. He argues that if the arts matter at all, they will illuminate more than themselves. Through an experimental interpretation of digital art, Elwell offers a critical reflection on how digital technology is changing us and the world we live in at a level of religious significance. Employing a theological aesthetic of digital art, this book shows how the advent of digital technology as a revolutionary cultural medium is transforming the ways we think about God, the soul, and morality.
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A—Minor for Suitcases aesthetic algorithms analog Anderson artist becomes Bill Viola biological art Breder bricoleur Carnivore concept Counter-Strike created crisis of transcendence Darko Maver database art death deﬁned describes digital arts digital code digital compositing digital culture digital technology dynamic tension Eduardo Kac elements embodied equivalence experience expressed fallibility fetish Fichte’s ﬁgure finite Flanagan genetic GFP Bunny Hegel Henceforth human Ibid identity images instantiates integrity interactivity intermedia art Internet art Kierkegaard Laurie Anderson layering Lev Manovich liminality Listening Post logic of bricolage machine Manovich Mass in A—Minor MEART metaphorical structure Moby Dick narratival narrative natural world negation numbers ofthe performance Phage piece Ping Body possibility private database prosthesis prosthetic reaggregation relation relationship response self-cancellation self-extension Seltzer’s Soft Cinema space speciﬁc Stelarc SymbioticA syntheses theological tion today’s crisis transcendental subjectivity transformation translated universality and particularity University Press Velvet Strike whole York