The Fortifi cation of Place in the Digital Age
DOI link for The Fortifi cation of Place in the Digital Age
The Fortifi cation of Place in the Digital Age book
While the previous chapters dealt with existing concepts with their own contested meanings, ontologies, and histories-namely Artifi cial Intelligence and Artifi cial Life-this chapter, and the following two, propose and tentatively map the new conceptual terrain of artifi cial space. Ideas of space and spatiality have undergone numerous challenges and re-articulations in recent decades. Various theorists of postmodernism have convincingly argued that space is a constructed category and concept, completely dependent on the specifi c and subjective instances of its deployment. In the mid-1980s, concurrent with the peak of postmodern theory, William Gibson in his cyberpunk novel Neuromancer (1994a) speculated about a new concept of spatiality facilitated by the combination of networked computing and global telecommunications: cyberspace. The notion of cyberspace has since become a normalised part of our everyday life, but signifi cantly has also provoked a great deal of critical exploration, with theorists using the term as a catalyst to examine the intersections of technology, subjectivity, and spatiality. Responses to Neuromancer ranged from celebrating its disruption of rigid notions of both the subject and space (Hollinger, 1990) to decrying its technological reifi cation of gendered divisions of mind and body in cyberspace (Nixon, 1992). Moreover, these debates have become increasingly relevant as Gibson’s speculative cyberspace metaphor has been widely, and often uncritically, applied to the material reality of the internet and World Wide Web we know today.