This article explores the relationship between critical distance and the idea of proximity. In times that are often described as ‘global’, ‘24/7’, ‘connected’, ‘networked’ and ‘immersive’, distance seems ever reduced and proximity omnipresent. The contemporary impression of ubiquitous proximity might constitute a threat to the survival of critical distance understood either as a cornerstone of enlightened and humanist critical practice or as a key metaphysical ‘technology’. The resulting ‘crisis of critical distance’ produces the question of how to position oneself with regard to the ‘other’ in a time that lacks distance and privileges proximity? In tracking the ambiguity (or the ‘aporia’) that surrounds proximity – the desire to be near and the need to maintain a distance – this article rereads some key Heideggerian and Derridean texts in order to attempt a deconstruction of the opposition of distance and proximity at work in the ‘metaphysics of presence’.
Bibliographical noteThis is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal for Cultural Research on 30/08/2018 available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/ 10.1080/14797585.2017.1370485
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