Vol. 16 No. 1 (2023): Going Virtual – But How? Mapping Virtualities in Contemporary Technoculture

Is the virtual of virtual technologies the Deleuzian virtual?

Francesca Perotto
Northwestern Italian Philosophy Consortium (FINO)

Published 2023-07-22


  • Virtual,
  • Gilles Deleuze,
  • Virtual Reality,
  • Intensive

How to Cite

Perotto, F. (2023). Is the virtual of virtual technologies the Deleuzian virtual?. Aisthesis. Pratiche, Linguaggi E Saperi dell’estetico, 16(1), 17–25. https://doi.org/10.36253/Aisthesis-13957


Gilles Deleuze has become a key reference for the recent debate on virtual technologies, as his conception of the virtual is widely used to argue for the reality of virtuality. Nonetheless some scholars, among which Slavoj Žižek stands out, have warned about the risks of flattening the Deleuzian concept on the tech debate. This paper aims to show why the two concepts of the virtual do not overlap by explaining some features of the Deleuzian virtual that make it incompatible with virtual media. Namely, its intensive dimension, its relationship with the possible and its imperceptible nature. The paper will also claim how differentiating the two concepts opens up wider applications for the Deleuzian virtual while, at the same time, lightening the tech debate of its ontological burden, allowing to approach the issues of virtual technologies from a more fruitful perspective – that is to say, their pictorial functioning.


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