Is the Potential for Transcendence an Intrinsic Aspect of a Virtual Environment?

Symposium:


Session Title:

  • Revolution98 Session

Presentation Title:

  • Is the Potential for Transcendence an Intrinsic Aspect of a Virtual Environment?

Presenter(s):



Abstract:

  • To go beyond the range or grasp of human experience, or reason or belief are simple definitions of the verb to transcend. We are often encouraged to consider the global transient network of digital media as a portal to some form of transformation, either of ourselves or at least our virtual selves. It may be that at the point at which we are in danger of being overwhelmed, where there is an almost felt violence, the terror of the encounter of looking over the precipice, a State of Emergence, there is a sublime experience. Does the immensity, complexity, impenetrability of digital infrastructures fill you with existential vertigo? Does the enhanced awareness of our rational ability to navigate, direct and even circumscribe the flow of electronic bits re-affirm your human spirit? Transcendence is often hinted at as a key feature of the sublime experience. Transcendence, in that there is a sense of ourselves to be a part of, within and surrounding that which overwhelms. Is this potential for transcendence an intrinsic aspect of a virtual environment that needs to be envisaged?

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