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Imaginal PoliticsImages Beyond Imagination and the Imaginary$
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Chiara Bottici

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231157780

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231157780.001.0001

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Contemporary Transformations Between Spectacle and Virtuality

Contemporary Transformations Between Spectacle and Virtuality

(p.106) 6 Contemporary Transformations Between Spectacle and Virtuality
Imaginal Politics

Chiara Bottici

Columbia University Press

This chapter explores how the nexus of politics and the imaginal changes within contemporary conditions. More specifically, it considers both the quantitative and the qualitative transformation of the imaginal, suggesting that such transformations have been gradually producing both an increasing virtualization and spectacularization of politics. The chapter first explains how contemporary politics is overwhelmed by the imaginal and depends on images, but argues that images are no longer only the medium by which we communicate our political activities, but have also become an end in themselves: the very stuff that politics is made of. It then looks at the term governance and its relation to the structural crisis of representative democracy brought about by globalization and the much celebrated (or criticized) “end of politics.” It also discusses the role of contemporary capitalism in the rise of virtual images and concludes by assessing the link between spectacle and democracy.

Keywords:   politics, imaginal, virtualization, spectacularization, governance, representative democracy, globalization, capitalism, virtual images, spectacle

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