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Week 11 - Does AR and VR just imitate nature?


Looking into the creative output of artists in the digital space. an art forum article caught my eye: Random Access Information, printed in the 1980s.

WE HAVE A THING called art and we have a thing called communication, and sometimes their curves overlap.

"ACCORDING TO PLATO, THE visual arts are said to imitate nature"

I find myself back to the words of Plato the allegory of the Cave is said to be the beginning of proof of the idea of Virtual reality. We emulate nature in order to capture it to define it and take its power. Human desire for control can be seen in art we create ways of trapping the natural in the unnatural, perhaps this has led to the AR and VR gaining momentum as technology allows us to define and capture these imitations, (some societies dislike their images being captured in a photograph e.g. aboriginal peoples).

The captive natural elements makes me question the reality of the imitation… what we see or hear captured on a recording - be that visual or aural what does that become? The moment of a happening is lost in time, not to be repeated. The reality of that event is proven by the capture, but we can manipulate the reality to reflect what our desires/aims are. For example change the pitch of the birdsong, colourise the photograph and speed up the video. Humans have the opportunity to meddle, the simulations we can present are imitations. Thinking along this line this is where abstraction in art has its power, we capture through an aesthetic what we wish to communicate, abstraction is a humans own nature.(TS)

What then of the captured image and the created AR or VR? It plays with the real and unreal, we can alter the fabric of what is in front of ourselves and add challenges to our view. A statue that can move, a huge ball that can twirl. Is AR and VR here to intimidate our sense of reality? (TS)

Do we judge a digital artwork/installation as quirky because we do not want to be captured into the virtual landscape? This thought is about how we are being captured by the AR/VR world, our experience in virtual artworks play with reality. Humans are naturally cautious but will there be a time where the virtual platforms became more appealing, as we can shake off the constraints of this world and exist in a world of our design could this be a more pleasurable experience where we can imitate the nature we want.(TS)

An article by Emma Chui, Global Director of Wunderman Thompson Intelligence, featured in Creative review 14/10/21 talks specifically about Designing for our Metalives and how brands will utilise gamification, as a way to access the virtual worlds of their audiences.

The car producer Hyundai produced a game in the Road Blox format for people to play and promote their brand.

“The artist who will make it big in the next century will be the one who is capable of programming big paintings into transportable shapes, because the energy crisis will go on and on until the year 2050.”

This quote from the essay is really timely with the current energy companies falling and being bailed out by the government.

The rise of the NFTs is surely where we are heading in order to make and keep work. Art, society and money are so tied together when one balance is tipped the ramifications for the others triggers a wave of happenings.

“When you’re born, you don’t choose who you are, but in the virtual world you’re starting from scratch,” Sébastien Borget, cofounder of The Sandbox, told Highsnobiety. The metaverse is offering a chance to create a world that is inclusive, ethical, and based on meaningful connections. People want to reflect their real-life ethics and values in the metaverse, and there’s potential for them to do better.

We certainly have an arrogance about how humans can do better than the organic world. Will we perhaps leave the physical world and exist just in the virtual plan, perhaps this will be the answer to help the planet recover - or for what will happen when we kill it. So much more to say about this unconnected statement by Plato...

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