Our Modus, the Imaginary and Superorganisms

Submitted by Ernesto A. Alvarez on Wednesday, 9/15/2010, at 11:50 AM

Appadurai elevates the imagination from the level of personal and whimsical abstraction, usually contingent on one's own experience, to an aggregate mode of being constantly defined and re-defined by the dynamic operation of each of his five -scapes. In its elevation to a practice of the global multitude, the imaginary is at once more unanimous and more diverse; more fluid and more effective; and, last, more real and less artificial than ever before.

Appadurai's 5 -scapes

Submitted by Ashley M. Hogan on Wednesday, 9/15/2010, at 9:42 AM

Appadurai proposes five factors that contribute to the global exchange of ideas and information. He labels these five dimensions “-scapes,” which are fluid and constantly shifting, just as cultures are. Within each of these -scapes however, exists multiple realities, as an idea or image changes its context depending on the spectator. With the meaning of ideas changing depending on the person ingesting them, we must then grapple with the existence of an “imagined world,” in which our reality is no more real than somebody else’s.