7. Digital abstraction is added to financial abstraction. In what does this consist and how does it operate?
Bifo: Digital abstraction is an effect of the application of virtualization technologies to communication between human beings and their operation is manifested as a linguistic interchange without a body, like a cut between word, body and affectivity.
8. In the book you analyze the “ethical” effects of the virtualization of contact. What are they?
Bifo: For me, ethics and aesthetics are intimately related: the ethical paralysis, the incapacity do ethically govern individual and collective life, comes from a disturbance of esthesia [the capacity to feel], that is to say, of the perception of the sensible continuity of one’s own body in the body of another, of an erotic understanding of the other. The virtualization of contact produces an effect of emotional desensitizing, of relational solitude, of psychological fragility.
9. Perhaps there is something we can understand better between the differences that you make in the book between “the logic of conjunction” and “the logic of connection.”
Bifo: Conjunction is an exchange in which bodies are put in a reciprocal relation in way in which each communication is manifested as singular, unrepeatable. Sympathy, i.e. shared feeling (sym-pathos), is the general dimension of conjunctive interchange.
But while conjunctive logic involves the interpretation of the gestural and corporeal dimensions, as well as emotional implications (with their ambiguities and refinements), connective logic reduces the relation with the other to the pure decoding of syntax, to functional contact in predetermined frameworks. This is the case of Facebook.
The process of mutation that develops in our time is centered on the shift from conjunction to connection as a paradigm of exchange between conscious organisms.