Imagologies: Media Philosophy
by Mark C. Taylor and Esa Saarinen
When the world has become wired, nothing remains the same. To explore the electronic frontier with Mark Taylor and Esa Saarinen is to see the world in a new light. A revolutionary period needs a revolutionary book and Imagologies is that book.
This is a work that demands to be engaged, questioned and pondered. As the web of telecommunications technology spreads across the globe, the site of economic development, social change and political struggle shifts to the realm of media and communications. In this provocative, innovative and remarkable book, Taylor and Saarinen challenge the reader to rethink politics, education, religion, architecture, economics and even thinking itself. To read Imagologies is to step into the twenty-first century and it is a fascinating, dizzying journey.
Imagologies is a loopy, active and uninhibited investigation of electronic interplay . . . Discussions of Hegel and Marx, Jameson and Baudrillard weave effortlessly between random aphorisms, accounts of televangelists, and MTV. What Imagologies finally convinces you of, almost through osmosis, is the incredible simultaneity of things.
The imminent arrival of new media technologies should change the priorities of contemporary philosophical inquiry and criticism. Whatever can be found lying around for potential deconstruction is from now on not nearly so important as what is waiting to be constructed, for in Virtual Reality and other new forms of media, the map becomes the territory. Mark C. Taylor and Esa Saarinen’s work is an antidote to an increasingly prevalent style of academic criticism of new media forms that is inappropriately negative. It is much more courageous to construct new ideas and new vocabulary, as this book does so playfully, in order to confront the new media, and even more importantly, to help create it. This is a book of imagination and craftsmanship; a work of responsible, and at this time necessary, generativity. How reactive and anemic other volleys in the cynicism race seem in comparison!.
Jaron Lanier, Virtual Reality pioneer
In this book, if I can call it that, Taylor and Saarinen have done much more than reflect on an experiment in creating a global classroom. They have raised profound questions about how we will talk to each other, work with each other, and live with each other in the visual electronic age that lies ahead. Videovision gives us a peek into a brave new world whose social and political implications even Orwell never imagined.
William Weld, Governor of Massachusetts
This profound and prescient `book’ enacts and enunciates a new philosophy of communication–a form and content of reflection that points to the role of philosophy in a global economy of telecommunications and micro-electronics.
Cornel West, Princeton University
Here is an anti-book for the image age. By turns dazzling and affecting, technical and poignant, the virtually real authors sweep from economics to erotics, covering speed and space, money, the future of education, the role of the intellectual in the electronic age. We are all cyborgs now, plugged into our image machines; print is fading fast; everything fragments and merges into the global net of information linkages. What is to become of minds thus colonized by pseudo-realities? Imagologies synthesizes this new world order with savage candor, calling on us to wake up to the state of our own consciousness. It readies us for the next big stage of human evolution. The show is on now, and it’s hot. Don’t miss it!.
Colin McGuinn, Rutgers University