Aesthetics of the Virtual

By Roberto Diodato
Translated by Justin L. Harmon
Revised by Silvia Benso
Edited by Silvia Benso
Foreword by John Protevi

Subjects: Aesthetics, Philosophy, Art Theory
Series: SUNY series in Contemporary Italian Philosophy
Paperback : 9781438444369, 171 pages, July 2013
Hardcover : 9781438444352, 171 pages, December 2012

Alternative formats available from:

Table of contents

Foreword by John Protevi
1. Aesthetics of the Virtual Body
2. My Body in the Virtual Environment
3. Forms of Expression
4. Towards the Image
5. Metaphors of the Virtual
6. The Concept of the Virtual
7. The Virtual Actor-Spectator
8. For an Aesthetics of the Hypertext

Reconfigures classic aesthetic concepts in relation to the novelty introduced by virtual bodies.


Arguing that the virtual body is something new—namely, an entity that from an ontological perspective has only recently entered the world—Roberto Diodato considers the implications of this kind of body for aesthetics. Virtual bodies insert themselves into the space opened up by the famous distinction in Aristotle's Physics between natural and artificial beings—they are both. They are beings that are simultaneously events; they are images that are at once internal and external; they are ontological hybrids that exist only in the interaction between logical-computational text and human bodies endowed with technological prostheses. Pursuing this line of thought, Diodato reconfigures classic aesthetic concepts such as mimesis, representation, the relation between illusion and reality, the nature of images and imagination, and the theory of sensory knowledge.

Roberto Diodato is Associate Professor of Aesthetics at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan, Italy. Justin L. Harmon is a teaching assistant in the Philosophy Department at the University of Kentucky. Silvia Benso is Professor of Philosophy at the Rochester Institute of Technology.