“We are surrounded by so-called electric phantoms.”  1

And so Abraham A. Moles borrows and invokes a turn of a phrase from the science fiction author Villiers de l’Isle Adam. Again the claim, “We are surrounded by so-called electric phantoms.”2 The imaginary, the immaterial, charged and dynamic. Moreover Moles cites a nascent and pervasive culture of immateriality,3 and I wonder at the corporeal implications of this forming immateriality in the discourse and practice of media studies. My interests focalize in locating and positioning these spectral nothings in the bodily present– finding the Solid for the Shadow of a Thing– and situating immateriality in bodily discourse. In attempts to dredge up and disinter the bodies of these phantoms, I ask these questions: What happens to the body as we move ever towards an immaterial world, specifically in connection to the Internet? What does the body look like? And, what does it do?


(1) Abraham A. Moles and David W. Jacobus, “Designing the Immaterial Society,” Design Issues, Vol. 4, No. 1/2, (1988), 25.

(2) Ibid.

(3) Ibid.

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