Parables for the Virtual: Movement, Affect, Sensation
Although the body has been the focus of much contemporary cultural theory, the models that are typically applied neglect the most salient characteristics of embodied existence—movement, affect, and sensation—in favor of concepts derived from linguistic theory. In Parables for the Virtual Brian Massumi views the body and media such as television, film, and the Internet, as cultural formations that operate on multiple registers of sensation beyond the reach of the reading techniques founded on the standard rhetorical and semiotic models.
Renewing and assessing William James’s radical empiricism and Henri
Bergson’s philosophy of perception through the filter of the post-war French philosophy of Deleuze, Guattari, and Foucault, Massumi links a cultural logic of variation to questions of movement, affect, and sensation. If such concepts are as fundamental as signs and significations, he argues, then a new set of theoretical issues appear, and with them potential new paths for the wedding of scientific and cultural theory. Replacing the traditional opposition of literal and figural with new distinctions between stasis and motion and between actual and virtual, Parables for the Virtual tackles related theoretical issues by applying them to cultural mediums as diverse as architecture, body art, the digital art of Stelarc, and Ronald Reagan’s acting career. The result is an intriguing combination of cultural theory, science, and philosophy that asserts itself in a crystalline and multi-faceted argument.
Parables for the Virtual will interest students and scholars of continental and Anglo-American philosophy, cultural studies, cognitive science, electronic art, digital culture, and chaos theory, as well as those concerned with the “science wars” and the relation between the humanities and the sciences in general.
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CONCRETE IS AS CONCRETE DOESNT
THE AUTONOMY OF AFFECT
THE BLEED WHERE BODY MEETS IMAGE
THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF BELONGING AND THE LOGIC OF RELATION
THE EVOLUTIONARY ALCHEMY OF REASON STELARC
ON THE SUPERIORITY OF THE ANALOG
CHAOS IN THE TOTAL FIELD OF VISION
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abstract action activity actual analog architecture autonomic back-formation becoming biogram body body's chaos chaos theory chapter cognitive color combinatoric confound connection conscious context continuity cultural studies determinate differential dimension dynamic effect elements emergence emotion empirical empiricism essay Euclidean Euclidean space event event-space excess experience experimental expression extended feedback feeling Felix Guattari field fold functions Ganzfeld Gilbert Simondon Gilles Deleuze Henri Bergson human immanence incipient intensity interaction Isabelle Stengers limit logical matter mode modulation motion move movement nature object operation particular perceived perception philosophy Ping Body position possible potential process line proprioceptive pure qualitative quasi corporeality Reagan reality reason relation relationality relay scientific self-referential sensation sense Simondon singular space spatial Stelarc suspension synesthesia synesthetic theory things thought Thousand Plateaus tion topological trans transductive transformation unfolding unity University of Minnesota University Press variation virtual vision visual words