Virtually real – really virtual.

  • Reality altogether is confusing.
  • We all have a different idea of what’s going on whilst all in the same place.
  • Flexible.
  • Do we really know what is real?
  • Physical media objects eg. books, newspaers become digital artifacts/versions.
  • Old media forms eg. film, television become distributed by new platforms eg. smartphones, laptops.
  • Convergence.
  • What is a virtual world?
  • Are we in a virtual world?
  • We could all just be part of one big game.
  • Xbox Kinect didn’t take off the way people hoped, first experience of humans being fully involved in a virtual world.
  • All the time we are following computers.
  • Creating another reality in which we can operate.
  • Why do we want to do this?
  • Immersive environments.
  • CAVE UT and Kinect are examples of interactive and immersive technologies.
  • Help us learn new skills.
  • Entertainment.
  • Flight simulation is one of the most accurate immersive environments.
  • Can take away the risk of a real situation.
  • Creating a generation of kids who don’t know how to live in the real world.
  • Phantom limb mirror therapy.
  • We are constantly able to be tricked.
  • Desire for illusion, and it is so easily done to us.
  • War games are becoming more and more realistic.
  • Why do people want to put themselves in those situations?
  • Oliver Grau – Visual Art: From Illusion to Immersion.
  • Comments how immersive techniques have been utilized throughout history.
  • Trompe l’oeil.
  • Sleeveface – perspectives.
  • Touches the human heart.
  • Many photographers want to show people the truth.
  • Robbie Cooper.
  • ‘Capture the truthfulness of human expression as they are experiencing immersive environments’.
  • ‘The camera never lies’.
  • “Does the making of a representation immediately move it into the realm of the virtual? And is virtual then immediately ‘almost’ truth and ‘almost real’?”
  • Any image can be classed as a fantasy.
  • When you take a photo you become part of the virtual process.
  • Visual artists have tried to add a playful element.
  • Liu Bolin – Urban camouflage.
  • Paints himself to merge into the background.
  • Street artists eg. Kurt Wenner, Julian Beever.
  • Grau says digital/virtual and traditional have the same purposeto create illusion.
  • True representation of photojournalism is questioned due to shots being set up.
  • War photographer lost his job after modifying an image.
  • In a world with so much trickery how do we distinguish what is reality and what is fantasy?
  • BBC News examined similarities between war photos and games.
  • Nottingham Trent University 2011 – game transfer phenomenon.
  • Transfer elements of game into your real life.
  • “Whose vision is it? It is the vision of a computer, a cyborg, an automatic missile. It is the realistic representation of human vision in the future, when it will be augmented by computer graphics and cleansed from noise. It is the vision of a digital grid. Synthetic computer generated imagery is not an inferior representation of our reality but a realistic representation of a different reality.” –  Lev Manovich’s book The Language of New Media.

My response…

This lecture really stood out to me and lead me to question and consider a variety of concepts and theories. How do we know what is actually real? There are many immersive environments we can involve ourselves in. Whilst I knew Xbox Kinect was about, I didn’t know the full extent to which you could interact with the character (seen in the YouTube video). In a way it’s almost scary that a virtual character can recognise and react with us in that way, potentially being the reason for why the Xbox Kinect didn’t take off in they had hoped. I have often seen people commenting on how maybe we are all like Sims (same as in the game where the player can control everything their sim does, from eating to showering to going to work) and when we walk into a room and forget what we are doing, our ‘action’ has been cancelled by the player. Although this seems so ridiculous, with the ever advancing technology and trickery how do we distinguish what is real? We could all be part of a big game. Something I found really interesting was the reaction of the children playing video games: ‘capture the truthfulness of human expression as they are experiencing immersive environments’. This is something we can all relate to including myself as people often become so involved in the games they are playing, they forget the world around them. It also leads to the problem that many people have been questioning about children playing violent games and how this affects their behaviour. Often there have been stories of people performing violent acts after playing certain games and although there are age restrictions this still cannot completely mean players are mature enough to handle such scenes. We are unaware of how involved in the game we can become and how this can affect us. Another reality is being created in which we can use, why do we want this? What is the desire for another reality? A virtual reality?


~ by victoriasimkissphotography on January 27, 2014.

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