In favour of a hedonist post-pandemic culture: Embodying new technologies and old rituals | Intellect Skip to content
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Dismantling the Anthropocene: Beyond Binary Categorizations
  • ISSN: 1477-965X
  • E-ISSN: 1758-9533

Abstract

Social distancing has entered our bodies and changed our behaviour. The fight against COVID-19 leaves people with a different feeling of what it means to be together in the flesh. In this article, I will tackle the tension between virtualization of communication, social distancing and the basic human need for bodily contact. Sigmund Freud used the term ‘oceanic feeling’ to express human yearning for becoming one with others and the sense of fluidity of the self. This concept goes beyond basic intercorporeality. It represents experiences in meditation and cultural practices of immersion. Both the maximum intensity of intercorporeal behaviour and the dissolution of the bodily boundaries belong to this experience. The literature in the pandemic covers mainly new rituals and bodily practices of distance but there is not much reflection on what has gone missing and its relation to current and future cultural practices. In this article, I will discuss hedonist embodied rituals like dance, eating and celebrating in public as vital parts of human cultures. Being abolished as contagious sites of infection, their return to the social sphere is, now more than ever, viewed as problematic and potentially subversive in the face of an atmosphere of anxiety. My aim is to argue against cultural tendencies of social control and the emphasis of disembodied virtual forms of togetherness in favour of a posthuman hedonist culture incorporating new technologies and old rituals.

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2022-07-01
2024-05-19
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