This chapter offers an extended rumination on the famous clause from Marx and Engels’ Communist Manifesto: “All that is solid melts into air.” Taking literally the melting of the solid (rather than metaphorically, as it was intended), the chapter reflects on the extent to which the seeming immateriality of contemporary life across a number of registers is associated with a lack of realness, which is, once again, a source of anxiety. The chapter considers a number of examples, including American heritage fashion, post-recession advertising campaigns, speeches by Barack Obama, and Spike Jonze’s 2013 film, Her. The chapter proposes that the real serves as a proxy for the social, once again calling us back to responsible forms of relationality.
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