Being and the Screen
How the Digital Changes Perception. Published in one volume with A Short Treatise on Design
How digital technology is profoundly renewing our sense of what is real and how we perceive.
Digital technologies are not just tools; they are structures of perception. They determine the way in which the world appears to us. For nearly half a century, technology has provided us with perceptions coming from an unknown world. The digital beings that emerge from our screens and our interfaces disrupt the notion of what we experience as real, thereby leading us to relearn how to perceive. In Being and the Screen, Stéphane Vial provides a philosophical analysis of technology in general, and of digital technologies in particular, that relies on the observation of experience (phenomenology) and the history of technology (epistemology). He explains that technology is no longer separate from ourselves—if it ever was. Rather, we are as much a part of the machine as the machine is part of us. Vial argues that the so-called difference between the real and the virtual does not exist and never has. We are living in a hybrid environment—which is both digital and nondigital, online and offline. With this book, Vial endows philosophical meaning to what we experience daily in our digital age.
In A Short Treatise on Design, Vial offers a concise introduction to the discipline of design—not a history book, but a book built of philosophical problems, developing a theory of the effect of design.