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date: 22 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Virtuality has a long history involving a continuous process of virtualization and revirtualization. In order to recognize the central role of virtuality in human history it is useful to focus on three attributes of virtuality: intangible architecture, sensory fragmentation, and distanciation. This provides a way to triangulate encounters with older forms of virtuality, including the virtualities of the word, writing, and printing. The emergence of verbal communication in a prehistoric period of orality opened up virtual worlds that were multiplied and expanded with the innovations that created and promoted literacy. Thus, virtuality has been with us for hundreds of years (in the case of printing) and thousands or hundreds of thousands of years (in the case of writing and speech). Spoken, written, and printed words have not been left behind but contribute in fundamental ways to the continuing evolution of virtuality.

Keywords: intangible architecture, sensory fragmentation, verbal representation, orality, literacy, printing, history of virtuality

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