Virtuality and the Superdynamical
November 2019 | Jacob Eriksen | Termpaper MA
"But let a sound, a scent already heard and breathed in the past be heard and breathed anew, simultaneously in the present and in the past, real without being actual, ideal without being abstract, then instantly the permanent and characteristic essence hidden in things is freed and our true being awakes and revives.” 1 - Marcel Proust 
This paper is an exploration towards a phenomenon that is embedded in our mode of being. A construction that becomes more transparent due the developments in our age of techno-science and inevitably provokes us to think critically about the position humanity has throughout this, for many, undiscovered and misunderstood realm. ‘Real without being actual, ideal without being abstract’ as Proust describes accurately in one of his novels. The virtual is an ancient phenomenon that is already part of us since the emergence of the human species. A real time event that opens up the past and the future, a dimension on itself. In creating a better sense of what the concept of virtuality actually sustains challenges us to use this phenomenon in ways we can develop a better understanding of humanity and use this knowledge in the process of hominization.
ETYMOLOGY OF THE VIRTUAL
The term virtual deconstructed itself many times throughout history wherein its etymology contains fascinating aspects and sustains a variety of contradictive developments. In ancient Rome, virtus meant courage in the context of a battlefield. The word took an active part in a masculine prospect that under Julius Caesar in the book of ‘The Gallic Wars’, a macho historical narrative, advised that we should rely more on the virtus. Virtus was evolved from the word vir, which is expectedly meaning the man’s fluid of essence. In the 12th century,the Oxford English Dictionary coins the term virtual for the first time as “to be possessed of the power to influence, to have the potential of affect”. Later on this idea, derived from the concept of essence, the virtual became to have a more metaphysical connotation . Wherein the 18th century the Virtual means “the fixed ,essential reality of something deriving from a transcendent authority”, a similar perspective of which the direction of this paper is going. Surprisingly, for ancient aspects of etymology, as well as a transition that is interesting to point out towards the understanding of the virtual, is a radical shift that happened in the 19th century. During these times the word virtue found its way in modern English as euphemism for ‘a woman’s ability to preserve her virginity before marriage’. Instead of the masculine approach of vir it transformed to a complete feminine conception. This etymological development, which contains a variety of radical shifts happening within the meaning of the term, can be seen as a metaphorical act that reflects the ontology of the virtual. Where the concept of virtuality is not bound to any “fixed” homogeneous definition, and is more likely a fluid construction with a heterogeneous and deterritorialized manifestation. It represents itself, like the shifting etymology, as a mode of being which is hard to grasp and always transforming but has a full reality in itself.
VIRTUAL REALITY VS THE REALITY OF THE VIRTUAL
This decade the term ‘Virtual Reality’ became extremely popular within digital culture. Because of the designated hype a lot of attention has been shifted towards this form of expression. It has an enormous impact and is highly influential towards the understanding of the definition the virtual. Many people would argue that the terminology ’Virtual Reality’ contains a paradox because of the manifestation of two oppositions, the virtual and the real. Wherein the term virtual becomes a synonym for artificial or simulated and an antonym of reality. One of the main targets of this study is that the above mentioned argument has an tiresome predictability in which the opposition is not correct. Thereby I want to investigate and proof the hypothesis that the virtual possesses a full reality in itself, “The virtual is fully real in so far as it is virtual.” 2 A further reason this study will not dive more into digital simulations is because of its structure of manifestation, in which our reality and virtual reality have obviously very different constructions. Whereas the real is composed from a more bottom-up construction, you could say virtual reality is constructed from top-down. The former finds it origin in subatomic particles which shapes atoms and molecules, constructing organic and inorganic matter which have a higher order behaviour entering the complex process of life. Whereas the latter starts from words and ideas, which are representations of things thorn out of context, purely in matter of the taste of the creator that arbitrarily puts these things together. 3 This hierarchical construction, on which virtual reality is based, has nothing to do with the ontology of the virtual, as an component of our being, but more with concepts of illusion, sometimes unreal. Therefore the term virtual, in this paper, does not refer to the digital simulations that have made us so familiar. It rather concentrates how virtuality forms a vital component within our subjectivity and how it is shaping new perceptions towards the objective world: the reality of the virtual.
THE VIRTUAL AS DECEPTION
Though, the concept of illusion (-and fantasy), which is embedded in virtual reality but also exist within actual manifestations, is a key element in effective culture. However it is possible to form a risk in how we interact with our world, where illusion, translated into a commercial and capitalist world, becomes deception. In contemporary society the virtual arises a range of tendencies that are caused from decomposition processes deflecting the actual meaning of the virtual. Since the digitalization in the postmodernist era we are engaging with new forms of media that provides us faster with all kinds of information, with the internet as the leading example. This digital environment is a displaced structure which is not bound to any spatiotemporal arrangement, a concept which is central within the notion of virtuality. Although the digital must not be confused with the virtual, the virtual is part of a bigger complex. The digital manifestation has a problematic impact on nowadays society with the amplification of illusion culture. Where capitalist structures infuses the internet with new methodologies around advertisement and propaganda, for instance with using the realm Social Media, in which the population seems to be very sensitive and easily influenced by this kind of information strategies. As an example the utilization of Facebook and Twitter as an assertion of influence within the election-campaign of Donald Trump. The virtual should be considered well likewise people should critically engage with this phenomenon.
VIRTUAL AS INTERDISCIPLINARY PHENOMENA
How the concept of interdisciplinarity manifests itself in the evolution of our species is important to understand the impact it has in the acceleration of information technology and science, a crucial aspect that will be investigated within this study. The virtual becomes a force that traverses a variety of disciplines and in which the virtual, because of its heterogeneity and openness, becomes a glue that binds the disciplines together and presents them as a whole. It allows our species to become aware of the connections a variety of disciplines has and that they can represent themselves in interrelated forms. An important evolution in this aspect is computational technology and the invention of the internet. An endless source of information that, because of its accessibility, is extremely powerful. Because of the high processing powers of the computer you can access an endless amount of already investigated fields and use that knowledge to invent new possibilities and combinations. We should not just see the virtual as something deceptive but engage with its possibilities as a source of reformation. A kind of interdisciplinary language that evolves with the growth of computational technology, wherein the virtual becomes the force that interconnects different singular points. Fragmentation transforms into unity.
1. THE ONTOLOGICAL QUADRIVIUM
Inspired by Deleuzian and Bergsonist concepts I want to introduce four modes of existential structures that shapes our perception of the world. This fourfold construction is important to understand the ontology of the virtual and functions as a fundamental base of this study. The four modes that I want to introduce are based on the “Ontological Quadrivium” 4 , a concept coined by Pierre Levy consisting: ‘the real’, ‘the actual’, ‘the possible’ and ‘the virtual’. These four modes of being inhabit some similarities and/or oppositions that may arise confusion. Therefore, to develop a better understanding, it is important to clarify their distinctions to grow towards the essence and understanding of the virtual. This will be done with a brief explanation of each plane, the similarities (real/actual and possible/virtual) and their oppositions (real/possible and actual/virtual). Besides this clarification I will dive into the spaces that emerge in-between these modes, containing transformation processes that makes it able to constitute the one or another.
REAL(IZATION) AND POTENTIAL(IZATION)
Firstly I want to present the real as one of the most layered complexities that forms a confrontation towards many Western philosophers throughout our history. By asking ‘what is the real’ or ‘what is reality’ a branch of questions emerges in which ‘the real’ tend to provoke a multiplicity and variety of arguments. Descartes compares the content of reality with a dream, saying they both share the same content and we should not trust the separation of illusion and the real. While Baudrillard conveys his simulation theory, in which he believes that human experience is a copy or imitation, a substitution of reality. Instead of seeing the real as a very complex structure, where our systems of symbols and signs from which we understand the world, I want to propose the real as something rather banal. The conception of the real, within this quadrivium, contains a material embodiment or tangible presence. A manifestation, that contains substantial qualities (like a three-dimensional shape, size, weight and so on) and further on has persistent and resistant functions that all together shapes a form that exists on itself. "Matter has neither virtuality nor hidden power” 5 A good example for this manifested structure, which presents itself in our experienced world, is matter. A structure based on molecule arrangements which constructs itself through fixed processes that are integrated in our nature.
Opposing this existent, materialist structure which composes the real is the possible or also called the potential. However the real acts exactly as the possible does, the possible is not existent whereas the real exists. As which you can construct both, the real and the possible, within substantial qualities, the qualities of the possible are not fulfilled. This non-existent possible has therefore a more ambiguous and uncertain connotation. For instance in linguistic representations, because of a lack in resources and possibilities, potentials are being challenged to investigate and communicate. As example, the advancement of a product, the producer will develop a plan which contains the functions and material qualities of the product, yet not existing. This is a kind of theoretical complex where the qualities become investigated, however it will stay outside of any practical presentations. This substantial structure which is not manifested in reality is the possible.
To manifest this non-existent structure into the real we need a certain transformation process. Realization is the process where a predetermined possible becomes investigated, and through material causality the possible becomes transformed into the real. In here there is a becoming of physicality through an action, for instance a mechanical process, which starts from an empty substance and become fulfilled, become existent in our reality. This transformation is constructed within formal structures, for instance through the laws of physics, as an example molecule processes. Without realization the possible looses footing and becomes disembodied, impossible to exceed and exist. By inverting this process, transforming the real to the possible, we enter the act of potentialization. In here, starting from the real, order and information gets produced, a esourceful process conveyed by formal causes. This formality finds itself in the notion of selection which is not a creative process but derives from facts the real presents. These processes are reconstitutions or reproductions of something that is already there.
ACTUAL(IZATION) AND VIRTUAL(IZATION)
The understanding of the proposed opposition, the real and the possible, is essential to move towards the main focus of this study. Where both manifestations are in a way restricted, depending on formal and existing qualities, the second half of the quadrivium is rather more dynamic and creative. Within the development of the combination of technology and science we get more and more confronted with these dynamical processes, produced by a force we don’t necessarily control. A certain awareness of this underlying structure, creating new forms of meaning thus our view on our objective world, is important to understand the power of this force. The two modes of being I want to discuss are the actual and the virtual, whereas the possible and the real are substantial manifestations, the former are more manifested within an event.
The actual has similar directions pointing towards the real, for instance they are both manifestations which are fully there, both existent structures which are allowed to be experienced. Although, there is an important difference that has to be made, essential towards the understanding of the virtual. Its distinction lies in the differentiation in modes of manifestation. The actual manifests itself in an event that emerges from a problematic complex whereas the real is substantial and derives from formal structures. The actual contains a specific solution, happening in the here and now, derived from something more heterogenous, the virtual. Whereas the real can be seen as subsistent, fully there in itself, the actual has to occur in dependency, in response to a virtual force. As an example, if someone ask you a question, which happens in real time, it produces an ‘actual’ formulation, a constitution and pronunciation of words. The virtual is in this case the field of understanding or the space of signification, derived from the past and displaced within the now, constitutes an event or response which transforms into the actual again. Moreover in the next chapter, with a further concentration on the linguistic transfer of the virtual.
Likewise in the case of the actual, the virtual can be seen within the structure of an event and is not substantial, nevertheless it forms the opposition of the actual. Instead of manifesting within the here and now, like the actual, the virtual is a displaced and deterritorialized phenomenon, a force that is not active in the spatiotemporal domain. For instance the internet, the ultimate metaphor of the virtual, you can log-in to a configuration that is not bound to a place and time, a problematic complex which is always active, constructing both future and past. However, the internet is not virtual itself, it is an intangible force that lays behind it. The problematic complex derives from the knot of tendencies that the virtual encompasses within a specific situation, having an absence of real existence although it is inherent in the apparentness of the real. “A set of entirely real tendencies, capacities and thresholds that inhere or subset in matter but may or may not be actualised in any particular entity or event” 6. It needs a process of resolution to become enacted within the actual. In this case the virtual can be compared to the possible, non-existent without any material manifestation. Nevertheless the virtual is significantly different to the possible. Whereas the possible is in opposition to the real, the virtual possesses a full reality in itself. It is a construction that encompasses a dynamic configuration that transcends place and time and only can be manifested in the form of the actual.
This process of manifestation, a transition from the virtual to the actual, can be seen as the invention of a particular solution constituted by this problematic complex. It needs a process of resolution or actualization which is not simply constituting form through resources, like the formal act of realization does. Actualization is the substitute of realization that constitutes the actual through more creative and inventive ways: informal processes. For instance the interaction between humans and computer systems incorporates a dialectic between the virtual and the actual. Whereas writing a computer program involves addressing a problem, and through virtual complexes the actual becomes an inventive result as a new dynamic arrangement. Without this process of actualization the problems of the virtual will become sterile, reaches an end and will not be manifested in the actual. The inverted process, the movement of actualization in reverse, virtualization, is the transition from the here and now elevated from the problematic. Virtualization contains a deterritorialisation and detachment from the present, elevates the actual towards a new problem, an intangible and complex force which is not able to present itself in the real world. It displaces the actual object, changes its identity and makes the object find a new essential consistency within a problematic field. In telecommunication systems for instance, while communicating, your voice becomes displaced to another location, there is a virtual force that makes it able to transfer the voice and actualize it back to the ear of the perceiver. At the moment of virtualization a new heterogeneous agent arises, displaced from spatiotemporal unities, reconstructed through dynamical structures, forming an understanding.“Virtualization is one of the principal vectors in the creation of reality” 7. Without the process of virtualization the actual will not exist, alienation will appear and heterogenesis fails. In the next chapter there will be a focus on the transformations the virtual establishes in relation to the actual and in reverse, dynamical processes that are adapted in a wide range of disciplines.
2. DYNAMICAL PROCESSES OF THE VIRTUAL
The movement of actualization and virtualization are both dynamical processes that inhabit the quality to create new kinds of unseen forms and shapes. It transfers, in complex parallel sequences of information, from one component to the other, constructing new kinds of entities. Firstly this chapter focusses on these dynamical processes in which the adaptation within a variety of disciplinary fields are highlighted. These conversions are active in the fields of, for example, mathematics, (techno-)science and linguistics, individually or in collaborative forms, producing manifestations that have effects on physiological and psychological realms. Furthermore there is a proposition of a new process, evolved from the computational elevation of our times, the superdynamical process. An act derived from a recursive constitution in which the actual and virtual are constantly feeding each other, a new age phenomenon that has to be considered.
DYNAMICAL TRANSFER IN MATHEMATICS
“A mathematical model (...) is simply a tool to help us in the control of particular physical systems (that is, the manipulation in the laboratory of the behaviour of real systems) as well as in the prediction of their future behaviour.” 8 - Manuel Delanda
One of the ways to make a conversion from a virtual constellation towards the genesis of actual and physical forms, or the other way around, is through mathematical models. Manuel Delanda discusses this idea in his book 'Intensive Science and Virtual Philosophy' whereas he elaborates on a highly technical description of this conversion. First of all, as he explains, there are singularities, which are the requirements that preside over the genesis of actual form. A singularity, within the field of mathematics, is a single point wherein a mathematical object is not 'well- behaved’. The object itself is undefinable by only looking at the singular point, the singularity is neutral. Furthermore there is the concept of multiplicity. An immanent construction which has an unified and timeless identity, encompassing the singularities and distribute them. Multiplicity is a virtual entity that inhabits problems but also shapes new kind of forms. To understand the two mathematical fundaments, singularities and multiplicities, it is important to build actual structures and surfaces from mathematical points of view. An example of a mathematical 'dynamic' process is the chaos theory. Starting from randomness and complex chaotic systems patterns become recognised and integrated in a range of applications, such as predictive models in robotics and population models in biology whereas chaotic structures can be found in ecological systems. These structures can be a fundament towards the act of actualization with an impact on the constitution of meaning and behaviour. The mathematical formulas are functioning as ways to convert the virtual to the actual, through realization models, and from the actual to the virtual, through for instance models for pattern recognition, adapted in computer science and a groundbreaking development in the genesis of form.
DYNAMICAL TRANSFER IN SCIENCE
"It is necessary to return to the interior of scientific states of affairs or bodies in the process of being constituted, in order to penetrate into consistency, that is to say, into the sphere of the virtual, a sphere that is only actualized in them.” 9 - Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari
Within the realm of science there are also a variety of dynamic processes that allows the virtual to manifest itself within actual forms. First of all, as a fundament within the theories of science, you can separate two kinds of properties that are manifested within these kinds of forms: intensive and extensive properties. Whereas the former is a structure that can’t be divided, this could be for instance temperature, pressure or density. The latter is an unit that is dividable, for instance metric measurement (length, area and volume) or quantities like energy and entropy. The extensive and intensive are properties that allow the virtual, through for instance pattern generating processes to manifest itself. An example of a pattern generating models that is active in the scientific realm is the process of thermodynamics. Thermodynamics is a branch of science that deals with heat and temperature which can be divided into the two before mentioned classes, intensive and extensive properties. The equilibrium state, the state where intensive and extensive properties are in balance, is an essential point of reference in the realm of science. When there are differences in these properties, a non-equilibrium state, there is a morphogenetic effect happening, which can be displayed in energy flows of self-organization. This idea allows, for instance in design experiments, where the intensive and extensive differences have certain rules, the virtual to manifest itself. A creative process in which the equilibrium, which can be seen as a virtual attractor, becomes modified and wherein new materials are able to emerge.
DYNAMICAL TRANSFER IN BIOLOGY
“The tree is virtually present in the seed.” 10 - Pierre Levy
An important dynamical process, which will be explored in further chapters as well examined before in the realm of science, is the field of morphodynamics. Morphodynamics is a study of transformations that causes structures to develop itself and focusses on the origin of new kinds of shapes. In biology, morphodynamics is a fundamental aspect that manifest itself within the control of cell growth and cellular differentiation. An example is a feature of a morphogenetic process, active in the act of embryogenesis, the development and formation of the embryo of a species. There is the example of a fertilised egg that develops into a full living organism. The egg, which is not just a substantial mass, possesses an obscure and displaced virtual structure that will form eventually the organism. This structure develops itself through, for instance, its relationship with spatial structures and the events happening in their surrounding. As the embryo finds itself in the before mentioned process of actualization, the virtual becomes manifested and the abstract and displaced takes shape. In genetic modification there are also examples of virtual acts. The interventions on the cycle of cells for instance, where the symmetry gets broken, the properties of the cells become modified, and sudden changes appear in dynamical systems is the embodiment for the idea of biological bifurcation. These event based structures, undoing the here and now, for the alterity of existence in living beings, is the invention of new velocities, the first degree of the virtual. The body becomes virtualized and enters a new stage of self-creation.
DYNAMICAL TRANSFER IN LINGUISTICS
"the structuring of every spoken utterance by a differential transcendental field of elements and rules that is non-present, real but not actual." 11 - Christoph Cox
The development of language has a very close relationship with the virtual. You could say that the virtual is inhabited within the creation of language and thus the emergence of human species. Language could be seen as a problematic field which involves territorialization and actualization. The process of communication enacted by the speaking-process traversing linguistic territories is a process of actualization. In here phonemes get extracted out of a sonic manifestation that emerges from a field of virtual potentials. The other way around, where language deterritorializes sound, a prelinguistic vocal sound, routed through a virtual structure, consisting of rules governs the generation of new utterances. This process of virtualization Pierre Lévy calls 'grammatization'. Furthermore, in the process of verbalization, an interior problematic complex, existing in the mind, becomes exteriorialized and so there is an event of transformation happening from private to the public. This change of interior to exterior can be seen as an attribute of virtualization, a way of deterritorializing your thoughts into actual manifestations. The next chapter, Triptych Outcome of Virtuality, will concentrate on the outcome of dynamical processes. In this chapter there is a focus on the idea of languages and sign systems, how this exercises our intelligent dependency and the influence of the virtual.
DYNAMICAL TRANSFER IN COMPUTER SCIENCE
“The computer is no longer the centre but an element, a fragment of the whole, an incomplete component in a universal computational network. Its dispersed functions impregnate every element of the technocosmos. Ultimately, there will be no more than a single computer, a single text substrate, but it will be impossible to determine its limits or establish its contour. Its centre will be everywhere and its circumference nowhere.” 12 - Pierre Lévy
The acceleration of computer science has an enormous impact on the transparency of the virtual. However the technological tool within this field, a combination of possibilities without problematic domain, like the computer, is not virtual in itself. The transmission of electronic computational media devices and its connectibility is the true virtual. It makes it possible to create an entity which is an element of a bigger virtual system, a technocosmos wherein the centre exists everywhere, a computational network. Cyberspace, an electronic medium that facilitates online communication, is a system of virtualization. This space deterritorializes the computer, brings it into a network to connect with other computers and shares a variety of functions with each other. The computer becomes part of a bigger system, a technocosmos which enables it to distribute information using high processing powers. This becomes an extremely powerful tool to virtualize different kinds of entities and generate information. Programming, on the other hand, is a form of actualization. Solving a displaced problem and actualizing it by a working environment through inventive processes. The before mentioned disciplines, active around the dynamical actualization- and virtualization processes, can all be implemented in the construction of either actual or virtual constellations, an interdisciplinary construction that transcends reality. The potential of computational dynamic processes are enormous and will be brought into focus in the following chapters. It is a construction of integrated models connecting knowledge derived from a variety of fields, having the ability to develop new kinds of ecosystems. A construction we are inevitably part of.
As an extension of the dynamical process of computation and the development of cybernetics, a big computational network with a distribution of high processing powers, a new kind of dynamical process tends to emerge. The key aspect of these complex and highly dynamical systems is the concept of recursion. Recursion is a function that calls itself during its execution. It feeds its outcome directly back into its system and uses this configuration to (re-)generate new kinds of dynamical and intelligent shapes and forms. In the previous above-quoted the act of actualization and virtualization are separated, either there is an act going from the virtual to the real, or from the real to the actual. The superdynamical process doesn’t distinguish between these two acts but submerge them together as one. The virtual and actual are always feeding each other, constituting a new kind of entity. For instance the computational process of pattern-generation (actualization), its outcome become analysed through pattern-analysis (virtualization), and generates new forms which becomes analysed again etcetera. With high processing powers this recursive act, the superdynamical process, will be considered in the next chapter towards the evolution of transcendent objects, subjects and spaces with a tremendous effect on perception and language, thus our conception of the world.
3. TRIPTYCH OUTCOME OF VIRTUALITY
How the collaboration of virtual and actual modes of being represents itself within our perceptible world is the main focus of this chapter. By proposing a triptych construction, constituted by virtual forces and actual presentations and manifested by the act of the dynamical virtualization- and actualization processes, will develop a more concrete idea on the outcome of these methods of transfer. There will be a concentration on the virtual and actual object, the virtual and actual subject, and the virtual and actual space, crossing a diversity of multidisciplinary perspectives. Besides, there is a cross-over and continuation with the computational manifestation that is under accelerative development. Due the superdynamical processes a new kind of dynamic and intelligent entity appears, finding its existence in all of the triptych fields. This form of being is presented in the actual but always in transformation, whereas the virtual becomes the force that is embedded in this representation. This transcended constitution, a form that goes beyond its actual limits, is a new kind of heterogeneous entity that manifests itself simultaneously in both virtual and actual, feeding each other and in constant transformation. This superdynamical structure has a kind of intelligence that is constant aware of its surrounding and always acts towards its happenings.
ACTUAL-, VIRTUAL- AND SUPERDYNAMICAL OBJECT
“Indeed, the virtual must be defined as strictly part of the real object — as though the object had one part of itself in the virtual which it plunged as though into an objective dimension”. 13 - Gilles Deleuze
Firstly to define the object we have to state a fundament for the understanding of what this constitution incorporates, whereas an object can be a real material manifestation, a person, a word in grammar or a data construction which defines something the actual object has a different direction. The actual object, an entity that emerges from the dynamical processes in the variety of disciplines which has been explained in the previous chapter, circulates physically and metaphorically between groups and has a maintenance of relationships. Those relationships can arise between the object and environment, between subject and object and between objects. The actual object can be seen as an entity, a multimodal construction that has perceptual qualities, like tangibility, and a visual point of reference. The actual object does not exist without the process of actualization, an entity which is dependent on a mechanism that defines its being. The actual object is the memory of an invention. The invention in here is a manifestation which is virtual, a necessity for the constitution of the actual. This virtual force can, for instance, decide phase transitions, the act of switching physical systems to another to create new values and characterization of the object, all morphogenetic processes. Whereas the virtual object finds its essential consistency inside of a problematic field, a deterritorialized configuration that transcends place and time and is not manifested in a material constellation. Derived from virtualizing mechanisms, detaching the actual object, a dynamic structure appears, embedding both history and past, undefinable and heterogeneous. An example of a virtual object is a visual projection that responds to computer inputs, a non-physical object that is inside of a dynamical system which is not bound to a specific place and time. In this example the actual object will be the material, realtime, manifestation out of which the visual projection emerges, the computer.
When a hybridity between virtualization- and actualization appears (a superdynamical process), as I explained before, a new kind of intelligent entity is created. This entity simultaneously functions in both virtual and actual realm. An example is the self-driving car. With new emergent technologies the car becomes fully equipped with sensor-technology, cameras and laser units to make 3D- representations, all in control by a big computer engine hidden inside of the trunk. The technology virtualizes the environment, displaces the actual objectives inside of a virtual dynamic structure, and this structure makes it again actualizing behaviours of the actual object, the self-driving car. If the environment is reacting on that, which it in principle does, the technology will virtualize again. This means that the input and output of this superdynamical object is constantly fed. This intelligent object is the object of the future and inevitably will manifest itself in our society. It manifest itself more like characters, or beings, living entities that are constantly in relation with their surrounding. The object is not homogeneous, not definable in one specific way, but a construction of sequenced forces that goes through different temporal and spatial scales. The superdynamical object can be seen as a fluid manifestation where there is an act of a morphogenetic continuum, the constant action and reaction, thus transformation, of forms and shapes.
ACTUAL-, VIRTUAL- AND SUPERDYNAMICAL SUBJECT
"In other words, the virtual image evolves toward the virtual sensation and the virtual sensation toward real movement: this movement, in realizing itself, realizes both the sensation of which it might have been the natural continuation and the image which has tried to embody itself in the sensation." 14 - Henri Bergson
The second constitution of the presented triptych is the subject. In which the actual object’s construct is external, a form that can be perceived, and whereas the subject’s construct is more internal. An immanent structure of habits, having a certain knowledge, embedded with empirical and intelligent outcomes. This quality of being is derived from memory, a purely virtual phenomenon. Memory displaces the past in the now, a form of deterritorialization. An example of actualization of these memories is through the enactment of real movements that are produced by bodily actions. The actual subjects are the observed actions that derives from those virtual and immanent manifestations. On the other hand, the metaphor of the reflection of a person in a mirror, the virtual image, can be seen as the case of virtual subject. Your body become displaced into another manifestation, the outgoing rays emerged from the specific body become diverged and appears on another surface, although you can’t touch the image, the image still exists, real without being actual. This could be a metaphor for the immanent experience of transcending, an indefinite experience where consciousness gathers with the unconscious. A procedure, explored by a variety of cultures and shamanistic rituals, where the mind leaves the body, an act of deterritorialization, from the actual to the virtual. Although the body is separated from the mind, virtualized and displaced, the experience is still real. How the correlation between virtual structures and subjects interacts with our being, influencing the way we think, will be explored in the next chapter.
When the body becomes virtualized there is a kind of dispersion happening. Virtualization could be seen as a form of multiplication. For instance with telephone communication, where the voice get carried away, become separated, the audible body gets doubled, both in the here and there, intersecting with the same process that is happening to the correspondent. This process is constituted by the media, having an impact on our identity, although the act is a particular solution it does create another general problematic. Species or self-organising entities are already a kind of superdynamical construction in itself. Like explained before, the memory, as virtual phenomenon, is in constant relation with perceptual and gestural actions, the actual and the virtual in a kind of recursive pattern. The action feeds the memory, the memory the action, and the memory the action and so on. Surpassing this idea is Lévy’s idea of the hyperbody. Through the development of technological and medical components, like glasses, false teeth, pacemakers, auditory implants etcetera, our body becomes a collective body. “The collective body modifies our private flesh” 15. By adapting these technological means we share our intelligence within virtual communities, we all participate within the same technological and medical networks. This delocalised, desynchronised and collectivised functioning creates a new kind of body, the hyperbody. A dispersed construction active in both virtual and actual world simultaneously. A step towards a new kind of superdynamical ecosystem.
ACTUAL-, VIRTUAL- AND SUPERDYNAMICAL SPACE
A space of nomad distribution in which singularities are distributed. (...), it implies a time of decomposition whereby this space is subdivided into sub-spaces. Each one of these sub-spaces is successively defined by the adjunction of new points ensuring the progressive and complete determination of the domain under consideration (Aion). There is always a space which condenses and precipitates singularities, just as there is always a time which progressively completes the event through fragments of future and past events. 16 - Gilles Deleuze
Objects and subjects are both defined by its surrounding. The different materials and spatial architectures, all with its specific mechanic qualities, builds up spatial relations with organic and inorganic structures. The actual space can be seen as the physical event that structures our surrounding, it is enacted by perceptual qualities and exists in the here and now. The virtual space, a space within spaces, is a decomposition of the actual space and is dispersed and divided into immaterial subspaces, replacing the fundamental laws of form and time. An obvious example of a virtual space is the internet. This virtualized and non-spatiotemporal dimension Deleuze also calls the Aion, a progressive construction that is embedded in the actual. “But being an empty and unfolded form of time, the Aion subdivides ad infinitum that which haunts it without ever inhabiting it.” 17 It is a synthesis of heterogeneities formed by a virtual continuum, enacted through dynamical processes like morphodynamics or phase transitions, transforming the virtual into a complex temporal structure, the actual. The output of this virtual structure becomes more and more embedded in our actual environment.
As explained before, a space is defined by its inhabitants, the object and subjects which are active in that specific surrounding. A superdynamical space is a construct which is fed by the active role of the inhabitants, either subject or object, but as well gives an action influential towards their behaviour. Virtualization happens in architecture, where a conceptual model, specifying the arrangement and interrelationships of particular components, delivered in a virtual version is stored and displaced into a computational network. Modification processes can be implemented within this virtual structure and actualised back into real physical manifestations, like three-dimensional printing, an upcoming process of actualization that transfers the virtual to the actual, as building blocks for big architectural structures. If the recursion is implemented, in which the virtualized computational model, in real time enacts the process of actualization, creation new materials and this information is fed back in the constitution of the conceptual model a superdynamical space emerges. This intelligent space is always transforming and creates new perceptual and experiential possibilities.
4. THE EFFECT OF VIRTUALITY
The growth of the transparency of the virtual, embedded in our behaviour, is mostly thanks of the developments of computer science and has an enormous impact on our being. Whereas the virtual already forms an essence in the way we stand in this world, since the existence of species, there is an acceleration happening on the impact of virtual forces within the age of techno science. How this acceleration influences our language, psychological and physiological being is the main focus of this chapter. The superdynamical becomes a process that leads to a from of transcendence, an experiential phenomena that goes beyond the physical conditions. A collaboration of actual and visual forces that constitute a new kind of superdynamical entity, embedded in our objective, subjective and spatial surroundings.
As already explained, in linguistics the virtual has a strong impact on the ways of how we communicate. Where the virtual is a field of potentials and rules that through sonic manifestations become actualized into utterances. This is a very embedded approach of virtuality that already exist since the invention of language. Currently, in our postmodern society, the growth of computer- science has a very direct impact on our language. “We “access” our memories, we “interface” with each other, we “erase” thoughts, we “input” and “output” 18, are examples of the direct manifestation of this computational growth in the field of linguistics. Important to understand is that language actualizes a mental space where it provokes states of being and the way we think. It has an enormous effect on symbolism, an important element in the psychological structure and life essential power manifested in the emergence of human society. This form of language doesn’t necessarily has to manifest itself in words or between subjects, something that is already known in the form of sign-languages. With the superdynamical structures that are proposed, where recursion forms a continuum in the interrelated behaviours of the object, subject and space, new forms of communication are explored. Because of intelligency in the superdynamical, the proposed outcomes, an intelligent ecosystem emerges with a transcendent aspect, rising above the limits of matter itself. The transparency of the virtual, always in dialogue with the actual, will open itself to humanity, where we can communicate and get to know more about our self. This new language traverses a multimodal construction, a collaboration of empirical and psychological structures: the trans-sensory language.
THE TRANSCENDENT PSYCHE
The psyche can be seen as a space for the production and circulation of signs, a space for information. An element is the memory, an intersection of mind and matter, a virtual manifestation that functions as a storage that is deterritorializes from the now. The mind, which exists of interior and exterior properties has a significant relation with society and its surrounding. As Deleuze says: the interior is a fold of the external world, the mind is a virtual complexity that transforms interior to exterior qualities and the other way around. The affection of the happenings in the surrounding extends beyond the physical space. Introducing the superdynamical processes which is an interrelated recursive construction manifesting between subjects, objects and spaces is a way to transcend the psyche and provokes a process to realize more about yourself. This procedure is something that has been analysed by psychoanalysts. Many of them say the transcendent function of the psyche is the highest goal of humanity. In here a relation with the self is created, a way to inner freedom but only exist when the subject makes the steps itself. 19 A superdynamical ecosystem, with all its fluid entities, is a space where human can explore themselves. Because of the fluidity of the superdynamical, inner thoughts, for instance your anxieties and desires, can be projected in this dynamical manifestation and makes it possible to interact with them. A space in which the virtual flourishes and is combined with human subjectivity.
5. ADAPTING VIRTUALITY IN THE ARTS
The last chapter of this study embraces a more concrete and practical methodology that challenges and explores virtuality. In here the artist becomes a necessitous towards the awareness of this heterogeneous phenomenon and how the given, due computational growth, becomes more transparent and influential towards the way we stand in this world. “This new artist is an architect of the space of events, an engineer of worlds for billions of future histories, a sculptor of the virtual.” 20
An effective way to challenge and investigate the accelerating virtual forces, embedded in our society, is through the arts. Frank Propper, historian in art and technology, explores the intersection of virtual configurations and art practices. Virtual Art is defined by epistemological, ontological and ethical implications deriving from "global virtualization", the historically accelerated moment in which we live, and through the existential changes effected on society and every individual as result.” 21 He sees, because of the computational development in techno-science, the necessity to question the power of these emergent technologies. It should critically engage towards the possibilities it has within the enhancement of our species. Through experimenting with heterogeneous and deterritorialized forces, through experimentation within artistic practices, our perception, physiological responses and psyche becomes challenged with a reflection towards the development of our surrounding, in for instance technological and ethics. As example, kinetic art, conceptual art and light art of today are driven by computer technology, challenges new sensory immersive spaces of today. Important is not to just make an aesthetical statement but to challenges the virtual through new methodologies creating valuable and meaningful progressions in the contribution towards the hominization.
SONIC ARTS AS VIRTUAL FIELD
The Sonic Arts is a realm which is growing towards a leading field in experimental culture. It is a field in which the virtual can flourish and where sound is a powerful tool which is both present in virtual and actual territories: a superdynamical force. Where it can present itself in the here and now, an actual manifestation presented to the listener, it can also displace future and past, the fingerprint of the virtual, heterogeneous and deterritorialized. With emerging technologies sound becomes challenged to have more spatial and sculptural functions. Fundamentally has to be understood that sound is a material manifestation, a physical and intensive force, 22 with the possibilities to create new perceptions of architecture deflected into a virtual space which becomes perceivable. Next to materiality it has also very strong immaterial qualities, for instant the direct evocation of emotions and the more spiritual transcendental possibilities. This because the sonic has the ability to infuse spaces with symbolic gestures, a virtual field we comprehend individually. Sonic Arts is a domain where the interdisciplinarity of the virtual becomes visible, audible and tangible, a field that is open to explore a variety of disciplines to transform it into a multisensory space. Integrating architecture, visual aspects, the user as entity, mechanics, mathematics and so on, has the ability to reflect the influence of virtuality on our experience.
An example of an institution that develops methodologies where the Sonic Arts, as an interdisciplinary platform, becomes a domain of research is the Spatial Sound Institute in Budapest. Here they challenge spatial perception, physiology, psychology and interaction design within an overarching ecology of listening. Furthermore they developed the methodology of Spatial Memetics,“a methodology that aims to develop trans-sensory language sets for use in technology- driven immersive experiences”. They challenge spatial sound as a medium to explore new modes of experience through a complex technical interplay between hardware (3D speaker configuration) and software (advanced interfacing and control). This offers the possibility to see objects, the subject and spatial dimension as superdynamical structure transcending its physicality.
Now we have a better understanding on the fundament of our modes of being, the (super)dynamical processes between the actual and virtual, its interdisciplinary forces and the influence it has on the way we see and think. It is very important that we enlarge our knowledge around the power of virtuality. As you could see that in the etymology of the virtual, contradictions and radical shifts have always been appearing towards the understanding of its terminology. These progressions are a metaphor for the problematic construct in which the virtual consists. It is not bound to a particular group, ethnicity, gender but remains fluid, without entering a specific domain. This heterogeneous force is always changing and has the ability to contribute in new morphogenetic processes of genesis. A fundamental development towards our species and influential on the way we think.
What is the power of virtuality? What is this force that is changing our way of being? How will the virtual manifest itself in the future. Is the computational hunting the virtual?
What we should do as investigators, researchers and artists is to be ahead of our time. Be aware of our surrounding and the power of society. The superdynamical forces has a potential to create new ecosystems in which the object, subject and spaces are interrelated. How empirical structures can be transformed, the act of morphogenesis, in which the virtual fluidizes the actual. The virtual as a transparent membrane on top of the physical dimensions. The superdynamical objects, as intelligent characters, relating to each other and their surrounding. In which you, the superdynamical subject, can project your anxieties and desires, a psychoanalytical structure as a new age constitution of transcendence. The virtual is a mirror to reflect our being.
Carl Gustav Jung, Der Mensch und Seine Symbole (Walter-Verlag, Olten, 1968)
Christoph Cox, Sonic Flux: Sound, Art, and Metaphysics (University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 2018)
David Rokeby, The Construction of Experience: Interface as Content, in Digital Illusion: Entertaining the Future with High Technology, ed. Clark Dodsworth (ACM Press, New York,1998)
Frank Popper, From Technological to Virtual Art (The MIT Press, London, 2007)
Gilles Deleuze, Bergsonism, trans. Hugh Tomlinson, Barbara Habberjam (Zone Books, New York, 1990)
Gilles Deleuze, Difference and Repetition, trans. Paul Patton (Bloomsbury, London, 2014)
Gilles Deleuze,, Logic of Sense, trans. Paul Patton (Colombia University Press, New York, 1990)
Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, What is Philosophy?, trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Graham Burchell (Colombia University Press, New York, 1994)
Henri Bergson, Matter and Memory, trans. N. M. Paul and W.S. Palmer (Zone Books, New York, 1988)
Manuel Delanda, Intensive Science and Virtual Philosophy (Continuum, London, 2002) Marcel Proust, Time Regained, trans. Stephen Hudson
Pierre Lévy, Becoming Virtual: Reality in the Digital Age, trans. Robert Bonnono (Plenum Trade, New York, 1998)