Felix Stalder on Sun, 9 Mar 2014 12:47:51 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Post-digital

On 03/03/2014 08:19 PM, Florian Cramer wrote:
> # What is 'Post-digital'?

Florian and I have been talking for a long time now about the
notion of "post-digital", with me being rather skeptical about its
usefulness. I still am, but Florian's text clarifies a lot for me.

There are some areas in which the term does makes sense.

Primarily aesthetically, in terms of pointing towards a complex
blending of the digital and the non-digital, rather than a simple
substitution (aka the computer as the meta-medium that simulates all

To some degree it makes also sense politically, in terms of a more
complex understanding of political processes not being driven by
technology, but still by power, institutions and competing collective
actors with unequal organizational resources to advance their
interests. Mozorov would be main exponent of such a position. It's a
valid position to critique the still powerful "Californian ideology",
but hardly new, particularly not in Europe.

Where the terms makes no sense, in my view (and also in Florian's),
is sociologically. The most powerful forces that transform globalized
societies, are all dependent on, and amplified by, digital
technologies. If anything, we are in the middle of the historical
run of this development rather than at the end. The idea that the
digital is just one dimension of society and that we can abandon it,
is ludicrous. Enzensberger's text was just a joke, and the FAZ printed
it because it would stir controversy, not because it had much to offer

So, what this leaves me wondering, in terms of a cultural theory, is
a term useful that makes sense of aesthetically, yet makes no sense
sociologically, or do we need to find terms than can articulate both
levels at the same time?



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