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Beyond the text. Cultural Practices in the Information Age

The notions of “subject” and “knowledge” seem to have acquired unsuspected life in recent years. This is quite surprising, because despite all the series of criticisms and death certificates that have been filed against modernity as a political and philosophical project in the second half of the twentieth century -a leftover hands of authors known as Roland Barthes, Michel Foucault, Jean-François Leotard or Richard Rorty, ideas and knowledge subject, two of the pillars of modern thought, not only have vanished but are back and being debated. True, some university knowledge, some of the critics and some artistic practices developed between the 1970s and 1990 under the conviction of the advent of a new post-modern era, where the subject had died and knowledge would become a simple narrative, between other multiple narratives, without any privilege on the truth. This critics of modernity had theorized and predicted only writing looked to be strongly endorsed the gradual but sharp change generated in the so-called information society, especially for the development and dissemination of technology like the Internet. However, paradoxically, the Internet age has brought an unexpected recovery and discussion of distinctly modern notions.

In retrospect, this situation is understandable. Postmodern criticism can not get away or fantastic subject nor the original knowledge because only carried out a textual removing them without disrupting the practices and institutions on which were based. For example, to illustrate this, nor ceased to be university professors or published in Gallimard or Paidós, or be legal subjects of the books published. Textual criticism followed tied to the ideas of subject and knowledge because these ideas had germinated and had been sanctioned precisely under the age of the book, the epistemological vehicle señero of modernity. Hence the textual criticism of postmodern thinkers presupposes the assumption always in advance of the one subject and Its privileged knowledge as guarantor of such criticism.

A technological transition from  essay writing service UK to hypertext, text, or multimedia formats other than textual preponderantly a new perspective into question the validity of the notions of knowledge and creative subject. With the gradual improvement during the second half of the twentieth century writing as hegemonic cultural production support, the logic of the subject and the knowledge associated with it has to be reconsidered. To say this, actually, it is nothing new. Since the sixties predictions as the philosopher Vilém Flusser, according to which type of memory and knowledge associated with new informational networks gestaría, rather than individuals, interdependent nodes that would demonstrate the fallacy of modern autonomous subject of the Cartesian tradition arise. Work on philosophy of science Thomas Kuhn evidence that academic knowledge is primarily a collective task and structurally institutional rather than the work of an isolated subject. Finally, not to extend this list, descriptions of autobiographical tone as the theoretical postcolonial Indian Arjun Appadurai show the local and divergent roots of knowledge through the cacophonous global and simultaneous media and transnational transfer structures information.


With the exponential strengthening of the audiovisual mass, with the epistemological valence charge different non-textual cultural forms -exhibitions, documentaries, visual design, etc. and finally the arrival and expansion of the Internet, these predictions and phenomena emerging, which a few decades ago ceased to have a speculative tone, not revealed in practice as a rethinking of the epistemological logic imposed by the culture of the book. Knowledge is not deed and provides and only through textual descriptions to the extent that other means also allow provide information and change the outlook and the experience and the idea that subjects have of themselves. This does not mean that books are no longer write or that the predominant means of academic knowledge does not remain this format. What it is though is amply noted that electronic media are forcing a rethink of the writing process, access and read texts. What must be critically analyzed is what implications does this rethinking of writing for knowledge production. In this sense is becoming clear that the text is not the only way to build knowledge and, above all, that does not seem likely to remain the hegemonic. The text has long coexisted with other media such as photography, film, video, painting or theater but its use and its very structure had never been seriously challenged. Now the textual culture is, if not subsumed, challenged by other practices and forms of coding.

This has not gone unnoticed disciplines of the humanities and social sciences. In fact, there has been a fairly common response has tried to draw a normative division between knowledge and information (a revived version of the Greek doxa and episteme). Already in 1982 John Naisbitt warned that “we were drowning in information but we were thirsty for knowledge.” This is not the place to go into detail on this issue but the debate on the items “information society” or “knowledge society “to describe the historical period and transformations that will address this project is already significant but ultimately, as Manuel Castells points out what we talk about is” a society in which the conditions of knowledge generation and processing information have been substantially altered by a technological revolution focused on information processing in the generation of knowledge and information technologies. ” Faced with these alarmist positions that would invite not question the unprecedented circumstances in which the knowledge is, philosophers and sociologists as Kristof Nyíri as Scott Lash who demand attention to new syncretic cultural forms She tries to address phenomena ranging from found subaltern knowledge, the overflowing university and sensory-spaces to detect reformulations and new perspectives to overcome the sharp separation between information and knowledge.


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