If virtuality is being celebrated as heralding a radically new era, rich with new possibilities and futures hitherto unimagined through cybernetics, networking and digitalizaton, such claims are also being viewed with deep scepticism and countered by renewed interest in the groundedness and referentiality of the concept of the index. In this transdisciplinary book, major artists, filmmakers, film theorists, philosophers, literary critics, information theorists and cultural analysts examine the twists and turns of the contesting terms of virtuality and indexicality in contemporary cultural theory in relation to history, trauma, sexuality, textuality, anxiety, simulated lives, code, digital cinema, science fiction, and contemporary art. Antony Bryant, Juli Carson, N. Katherine Hayles, Anna Johnson, Mary Kelly, Brian Massumi, Claire Pajaczkowska, Griselda Pollock, Adrian Rifkin, Martha Rosler, Alison Rowley, Trinh T. Minha, Samuel Weber, and Paul Willemen, draw on concrete practices, ranging from film, video and chatrooms to airport spaces, conceptual art and textiles, to offer critically engaged, sometimes sceptical, analyses of contemporary image worlds in the light of a continuing allegiance to grounded histories and critical practice.
Antony Bryant is Professor of Informatics at Leeds Metropolitan University and author of 'Thinking Informatically' (2006) and co-editor of 'The Handbook of Grounded Theory' (2007). Griselda Pollock is Professor of Social and Critical Histories of Art and Director of the Centre for Cultural Analysis, Theory and History at the University of Leeds and author of 'Encounters in the Virtual Feminist Museum' (2007).