Interfacing Realities

"Interfacing Realities" in the form of a hypertext on paper covers the mid-1990s questions about the Internet’s ontological status.

 

With: Knowbotic Research, William Mitchell, Stefan Münker, Stephen Perella, Stacey Spiegel, Siegfried Zielinski.

Edited by Joke Brouwer and Carla Hoekendijk.


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Published in 1997, this booklet in the form of a hypertext on paper covers the then-central questions about the Internet’s ontological status.

“The interface is not a border. It is a field of fluctuating activities. It is by working at and in the difference between the possible and the makeable that the room for agency is opened up.”

Are computer networks a virtual world, parallel to a "real" world? Can a superhighway be digital? Can a city be digital? Is the Internet nothing but a huge collective mental projection, constructed with the aid of a large number of (architectural) metaphors? If the answer to these questions is affirmative, we – together with these authors – will have to address a number of essential issues. What does this mean to the cities we inhabit now? And if this technological extension of the urban space has so much "reality effect," are we willing to throw ourselves on the Net for shopping, education and even to search for money and happiness? In the end, will we have to metaphorize ourselves, with our bodies becoming nothing but a protrusion of the screen?

 

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