Post-Digital Rhetoric & The New Aesthetic
Published March 2019 from Ohio State University Press
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The proliferation of smart devices, digital media, and network technologies has led to everyday people experiencing everyday things increasingly on/through screen-mediation. In fact, much of the world has become so saturated by digital mediations that many individuals have adopted (or adapted to) digitally-inflected sensibilities. This gestures not simply toward posthumanism, but more fundamentally toward an altogether post-digital conditionality—a post-digital orientation that introduces a multiplicity of considerations for the capacities and practices of rhetoric. On the one hand, post-digital mediations are transforming the very means, metaphors, and modes available to rhetoric. On the other hand, post-digital audiences bring different expectations to the mediating experiences of digital and nondigital artifacts. And, on a third kind of hand, human-technology assemblages in a post-digital moment have fundamentally reconfigured human sensibilities (i.e., the very measures by which rhetors make sense of the world). This work takes stock of these reconfigurations and their implications for rhetorical studies by taking up with the techno-aesthetic, post-digital phenomenon known as the New Aesthetic. It treats the New Aesthetic as a rhetorical ecology—tracing its circulating intensities and repositioning those intensities as a set of operative contours for the knowing, making, and doing of post-digital rhetoric.