The Digital Condition15 February, 2018 - 10:59 by felix
I'm very happy my new book (a translation of Kultur der Digitalität) has just been published by Polity Press.
In the book I argue that referentiality, communality, and algorithmicity have become the characteristic cultural forms of the digital condition because more and more people – in more and more segments of life and by means of increasingly complex technologies – are actively (voluntarily and/or compulsorily) participating in the negotiation of social meaning. They are thus reacting to the demands of a chaotic, overwhelming sphere of information and thereby contributing to its greater expansion. It is the ubiquity of these cultural forms that makes it possible to speak of the digital condition in the singular. The goals pursued in these cultural forms, however, are as diverse, contradictory, and conflicted as society itself. It would, therefore, be equally false to assume uniformity or an absence of alternatives in the unfolding of social and political developments. On the contrary, the idea of a lack of alternatives is an ideological assertion that is itself part of a specific political agenda. Indeed, advanced democracies are faced with a profound choice, to continue their long slide towards post-democratic authoritarianism or reinvent democracy for the digital condition.
You can get it from the publisher (UK, US), from Amazon (UK, US), or you local bookseller (UK, US). The great cover image is by the Dutch artist Berndnaut Smilde, from the series Nimbus, Probe #6, 2010.
- Vincent August teases out the cybernetic roots of some of the theoretical tools employed in this book. I fully agree with him that the cybernetic framework is limiting today, which is why I tried to combine it with other theoretical perspectives. Zeitschrift für Politikwissenschaft (22.12.2021)
- Sebastian Berg, Niklas Rakowski and Thorsten Thiel discuss the book as one of five "key points of reference in the German-language discussion on the digital society." Digital Constellation (12.2020)
- Herman, Kelly. 2020. “Felix Stalder, The Digital Condition.” International Journal of Communication 14(3).