Virtualis: Topologies of the Unreal is a poetic investigation of melancholia and the baroque. As a collaborative reading of writers such as Walter Benjamin, Christine Buci-Glucksmann, Giorgio Agamben, Gilles Deleuze, Charles Baudelaire and Arthur Rimbaud, David Dowker and Christine Stewart have created a series of linguistic interjections that run from the allegorical barricades of the baroque to the topological confound of the modern, incorporating (for example) Medusa and the Sphinx, aestivating snails and the alchemy of bees. Lush and extravagant, this is writing tuned in to the terrestrial spectacle.
"Analogy Ð this word held in disrepute by the philosophers of the Enlightenment for its lack of rigor and reliability Ð ensconced, like metaphor, in the vast territory of that which is improper, now revealed itself to be, for Baudelaire, the only key with which to access that knowledge "which sheds a magical and supernatural light on the natural obscurity of things.""
Ð Roberto Calasso, trans. Alastair McEwen, La Folie Baudelaire