Being alive in a culture of images and still having to exist in the midst of things makes this relationship with objects very complex (Mark Leckey, 2014). When you can have an e-book, why would one still buy a “real” book? Is it the weight it has? The shape? Is it a fetish for this antiquated idea of knowledge? Could it be the smell?
The whole performative act, the way in which we interact with the piece, is different. The difference is as stark as the feeling of watching live music compared to listening to a record at home. It is as differentiated as communicating with your family via Skype versus visiting them in person at home. There is an emotional attachment that we build with physical objects and physical interactions, which is built and domesticated by our memory and that cannot be overtaken by a virtual presence.