Technological transformation of the perception of death
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The historical attitudes toward death are compared with the philosophical tradition of death contemplation to suggest points of divergence and similarities on the notion of the death of the body. Technological transformations of the attitudes toward body that are established through new modes of perception are often confined into the narrow understanding of Cartesian philosophy. Merleau-Ponty’s notion of flesh overcomes the dualistic consequences of the representational theory of perception thus offering a unified understanding to the elementary relation of bodies to their world. Death must be understood in this bodily sense of Being on which the technological makeup of the daily life plays a crucial and transformative role. The changes in the tradition of Vanitas and the technological penetration of body in Cronenberg’s cinema are prime expressions of bodily death. Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology and textual and visual expressions of encounters with technology and nature are used in order to propose a transformative project to re-establish a primal relation with the intertwinings of death and life.