Community Without Community in Digital Culture

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Palgrave Macmillan, Aug 7, 2012 - Philosophy - 191 pages
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The word 'digital' refers to both digital data, as used in computers, and also the digits, fingers, of the hand, and thus by extension touch, which has long been a trope for connectivity, community, and participation. Thus, in its drive towards greater connectivity, our culture is digital in more than one sense, in that it increasingly encourages such contact (from the Latin, 'com', together, and 'tangere', to touch). But at the same time such technologies always involve separation, gap and distance. Community Without Community in Digital Culture suggests that networks always involve this other aspect of touch, separation, distance and gap, as a necessary concomitant of our fundamental technicity. Thus, against the prevailing presumptions that new technologies involve greater contact, relationality and community, this book proposes that they exemplify the gap inherent in touch, the 'inconceivable, small, 'infinitesimal difference'' that separates us from each other in time and space. In this such technologies are part of the history of the death of God, the loss of an overarching metaphysical framework which would bind us together in some form of relation or communion. This can be understood in terms of contingency, which has the same root as contact.
 

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Contents

1 Digitality
1
2 Theological Origins of the Digital
18
3 Deconstruction Technics and the Death of God
37
4 Derrida Nancy and the Digital
53
5 Darwin after Dawkins after Derrida
63
6 Slitting Open the Kantian Eye
80
7 The Work of Art in the Post Age
93
8 Nonrelational Aesthetics
100
9 Luther Blissett
114
10 Bartleby OffLine
129
11 Exploding Plastic Universe
135
Conclusion
142
Notes
162
Index
185
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About the author (2012)

CHARLIE GERE is Professor of Media Theory and History at Lancaster University, UK. He is the author of Digital Culture and Art, Time and Technology, and with Michael Corris, Non-Relational Aesthetics, as well as being co-editor of White Heat Cold Logic: British Computer Art 1960-1980, and many papers on questions of technology, media and art.