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Rearranging Notions of the Digital and the Physical

Keywords of the 21st Century

Philine Schomacher, Elisa Budian, Lara Jueres, Malte-Kristof Müller, Katrin Schuenemann, Lina Boes, Vanessa Richter, Frerk Hillmann-Rabe, Authors

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Rearranging Notions of the Digital and the Physical

Our lives are currently flooded with new words and concepts, which then appear again and again before fading into obscurity. Some people call them hypes, but we call them keywords. With the help of the keywords we’ve chosen we would like to put the ephemeral and quickly changing concepts of the 21th century in order and maybe contribute a part of a description to the knowledge production in the present age. These keywords are dealing with areas of culture, life, and communication and hopefully they are able to demonstrate that even in the digital age some seemingly old concepts are still significant and just need to be rearranged and rethought.

As a result that older questions still have a relevancy in our digital age, we would like to rearrange the perception of the relations between the physical and the digital world. Based on our assumption that you cannot think in two distinct worlds, but in two manifestations belonging to one reality, you nevertheless have to understand and consciously perceive the connections between the digital and the physical manifestation. The purpose of our keywords is, therefore, to point out the need of a rearrangement of the belief in two distinct worlds and maybe open new perspectives of blurred lines between the two manifestations – digital and physical. Although the connection between digital and physical is nothing new, we always need to readapt our perception to new emerging concepts, because of the incredible speed they come and go. Every presented keyword will point out the constant interactions between the physical and digital notions of reality and will hopefully rearrange the reader’s perception of these notions.

A question one might ask could be: Why are those words keywords of the 21st century? A few of them are new creations for inventions, which are made in the 21st century (e.g. tinder). Or they are built around new inventions like mingle, which is definitely connected with tinder or global warming, which came with social networks. So it is obvious that they are representing the 21s century. Some of them are not new but they became more and more relevant over the past decade. Interface, privacy, big data and with it, of course, global warming are part of this category. To take the interface as an example: The word and its meaning existed before, but it became important just in these days when everybody got a technical device that has an interface for communication with its user. Privacy is another example of this category because the concept is not new, but it got a new importance over the last years since new concepts like tinder or social networks and new ways of monitoring became part of our lives and rearrange the borders of privacy and public. Our ambition of bringing these keywords together is maybe the same like rearranging the meaning of all of them. Every single keyword needs to be rearranged as a keyword of the 21st century and sometimes declaration is needed to understand their purpose in total. Similarities and connections between the keywords aren't always obvious, but while thinking outside the box, relationships can be made. It's a process of connecting and questioning.

Connecting our keywords on a more technical level, our scalar book will represent our collection on the one hand through the main menu where you can follow the path of every single keyword which catches your interest. On the other hand, we want to provide the reader with an interactive experience beyond comments that you can leave. Therefore, if you want to walk your own path through our book you can choose your own narrative either using the scalar links connecting different chapters of the keywords, which are directly visible on each page you are visiting. With multiple ways to read the book, you might be able to discover new connections, new pages or new memes and videos.

Bringing together not only our own writing in the book we wanted it to let you dive into our process of developing our keywords and see our vision throughout the book. Using the scalar tags your can bring new concepts into your reading. By choosing one tag, which represents for us the overall concepts conceptualizing our keywords, you can follow a new string of pages and media connected to it, for example the digital, the concept of participation in the 21st century or the phenomenon of the black box. And of course you are invited to become part of the book by leaving comments if you want to!

Overall concepts: "universal" hashtags that belong to every keyword and can be used as a form of connection.

#Black box
All the processes and protocols are hidden behind a surface produced for the consumer (e.g. you can’t see the working of the protocols and the technical processes behind your computer screen). The same applies to any concept that obscures the procedures going on behind the scenes, like political decision making, global warming, media phenomena.

#Communication
The opportunities to communicate have changed a lot through the digitalization. Every communication phenomenon that can be connected directly or indirectly to the 21st century belongs to this hashtag.
 
#Definition
Sometimes it's hard to categorize and define things or phenomena clearly, but any content that defines our keywords in some way can be seen as a definition. The tag "definition" could be the basis of understanding and although illustrate the differences between the keywords. 

#Discrepancy of the self
The difference between the inner perception vs. the outer perception of a person can produce a discrepancy of the own identity. Therefore, all processes of identity-forming and identity-destruction can be included into this section. The 21st century offers us a lot of possibilities to show who we are or who we want to be. The thinking of others and your personal thinking could be very different and may effect the way, people present themselves online or offline.

#Ephemeral 
The 21st century can be seen as a fast-paced and short lived way of live. Therefore ephemerality can have many meanings. Whether it relates to how fast data can be shared or love, life has a new speed. 

#Lifestyle
The upcoming diversity of possible life choices in the 20th century enabled a multitude of different lifestyles that are getting even more variated in the 21st century.People come out of religious bonds, what makes it possible to live free as gay or trangender human beeing. Male patriarchy breaks down, feminism rise up and hopefully finally gives women equality. What is not just obviously good for women also gives men the opportunity to find new ways of defining them selfs.

#Participation
The new possibility of the 21st century to take part in public discourse through different media channels. Everybody is a prosumer - producing and consuming at the same time. Technological and digital progress make it possible to produce, publish and distribute cultural content, almost for everbody, just limited by the accesability of technics. But not just participation in cultural content production became possible. Informations about social and political grievances can be shared world wide and new ways of communication makes it easier to organise a political cloud, which can pressure political leaders to act.

#Perception
Addressing the changing perception and world views in the fast-paced global settings of the 21st century.An exceeding number of objects and entities we have to face in the world today wont let us take time to rate their importance to us, we have to choose between relevant and unrelevant very fast. Our attendence is changing. It´s not just becoming faster. Global problems, like enviromental problems, came to our lifes through knowledge and world wide share of informations. The connection between local and global is obvious to us in anythink we do. The way we see the world is changing. Everybody is equipped with a camera, everbody is sharing personel experiences online, everybody is tracking his runs, knows his BMI, is optimizing his diet. The way we feel our self is changing.

#Philosophy
A conceptual take of your keyword where you exemplify the philosophical approach towards it. You can see this tag in contrast to the definition part (explained above).

#Story behind the keyword
As Nishant told us, we can bring in personal experiences as well as real-life case studies/examples to make our keywords and concepts accessible.

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