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Interpassivity is a state of passivity in the presence of the potential of interactivity.[1] The purpose of the concept is to "explain how works of art and media sometimes seem to provide for their own reception".[2] The term was coined by Robert Pfaller and Slavoj Žižek, and combines the words "interactivity" and "passivity".

Pfaller, a professor of philosophy at the university of Linz elaborated the theory of interpassivity within the fields of cultural studies and psychoanalysis.[3][better source needed] Juha Suoranta and Tere Vadén, working on the basis of Pfaller's and Zizek's insights, stress interpassivity's potential of changing "into its negative when illusory interactivity produces passivity".[4]


  1. ^ Slavoj Žižek (1998). "Cyberspace, or, How to Traverse the Fantasy in the Age of the Retreat of the Big Other", Public Culture, volume 10 issue 3, p. 483
  2. ^ van Oenen, Gijs. "A Machine That Would Go of Itself: Interpassivity and Its Impact on Political Life". Project MUSE. Project MUSE. Retrieved Dec 24, 2014. 
  3. ^ Robert Pfaller, Illusionen der Anderen, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp 2003
  4. ^ Juha Suoranta and Tere Vadén (2010). Wikiworld, Pluto Press, p. 133

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