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The Digital Turn: User’s Practices and Cultural Transformations

Edited By Pille Runnel, Pille Pruulmann-Vengerfeldt, Piret Viires and Marin Laak

By combining the analysis of the new forms and environments of the digital world with critical scholarship of the role of the users, this book argues that cultural field is facing a challenge of the digital turn. The digital turn hereby implies that changes in the use and application of digital technology bring on changes in practice and in the relationships between cultural institutions and audiences. We approach the changes in society from the structural (institutional) as well as from the agential (audiences, users, individuals) perspective. The authors represented in this book share the view that there is no need to fear the new media pushing aside traditional cultural forms, acknowledging at the same time that the scope of this cultural change is far from understood.

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Between Technology and Teleology: Can the Digital Age Embrace the Analogue Experience of Culture? Farouk Y. Seif

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Professor Emeritus Center for Creative Change Antioch University Seattle 2326 Sixth Avenue, Seattle, WA 98121, USA fseif@antioch.edu This chapter introduces a new theoretical framework for cultural transformation in the digital age by juxtaposing the competing yet mutually reinforcing ideas of technology and teleology. The theoretical framework draws from philosophy, semiotics, and contemporary systems thinking, substantiated by traditional cultural practices. Based on this framework, and by reframing the challenge at hand, the paper calls for an eco-humanistic understanding of cultural transformation and suggests that: 1) digital technology is best viewed as a means to an end, but where the means and the end reciprocate purposefully in an integrative circularity; and 2) feeling comfortable with the paradoxical and tensional relationship between techne and teleos can bring forward a sustainable and desirable future that transcends virtual reality into an authentic and enhanced cultural reality. 1. Introduction: Cultures and the lure of technique Cultures stand at a critical junction in history. Although the power of technology has been in� uencing cultures and civilisations since the beginning of time, our digital age brings unprecedented challenges that human beings have never en- countered before. Technological innovation has taken place in almost all aspects of modern society, integrating technology into everyday life such that virtual sys- tems of human interaction become interchangeable with physical systems. In ef- fect, as many proclaim, the digital seems to have swallowed the real. This inter- changeability between the virtual and the real seems to generate both challenges and opportunities for...

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