Thesis Info

Thesis Title
Virtual Culture and Virtualization of Culture
Daniele Angeli
2nd Author
3rd Author
Ph.D. degree in Literature and Communication
Number of Pages
University of Siena
Thesis Supervisor
Prof. Michele Rak
Supervisor e-mail
Other Supervisor(s)
Language(s) of Thesis
Department / Discipline
Modern Literature and Language Science
Languages Familiar to Author
Italian English French
URL where full thesis can be found
Virtual, Arts, Culture, Post-modernism, Cyberphilosophy, Hypertextuality
Abstract: 200-500 words
The essay has two parts: the first one contains a synthesis of the main theories concerning the Virtual as it is analyzed by some contemporary thinkers: McLuhan, DeKerkhove, Baudrillard, Maldonado, Manovich, Lévy. From the comparative reading of their perspectives, a possible map of the theoretical issues of the Virtual Culture is given. Firstly, the end of the Gutemberg era, together with the advent of the electronic one, which recalls some aspects of the Orality periods. Secondly the flexibility of the digital language, linking together different cultural traditions, bringing great premises and risks at the same time (Baudrillard). Moreover, the collective intelligence of the new media users, for new economic, cultural and political behaviours. Finally the idea of connective intelligence, that profoundly influences the human mind, the same way the printing press did. As digital connections and telecommunications enlarge, the Virtual Culture enters within people’s attitudes and beliefs. Art can be a key for the comprehension of this global phenomenon; the essay considers as crucial the ideas of McLuhan, who called the artist as the person with the integral sensibility, capable to understand the social change. As a consequence of that, the second part of the essay considers examples of Virtualized artistic expressions. 1) The Cyberpunk literature, a literary, political and cinematographic avant-garde which recalls many different and precedent movements, but all blended together by the digital flexibility. 2) The Hypertext, that applies virtual issues to the conventional textual order, making it exploded, fragmented, contaminated. 3) The Network Museum, as the result of the Virtualization of the conventional one. This transformation has been enhanced by the digital communication; the energy of the virtual sign is pushing the whole society toward the Network as its most important paradigm.