Virtual reality, a place for knowledge about our being and empathy?

Abstract : The first decade of the 20th century was marked by the progress in the field of chemistry offering an increasing variety of new materials without an adequate culture, for these to be integrated. The industry, then, launched itself in the production of great quantity of “vulgar objects”. The last decades of the 20th century and the rise of the 21st questions us about what may be true or false in virtual reality. The massive production of VR is normal, but, lacking the adequate culture, this “normal presence” risks becoming formless and polluting (Manzini, 1990, pp. 148-161). Art is the key of this problem if we take into consideration that each work of art gives us the cultural coordinates to the VR objet (or VR itself). We have chosen to study the case of two works we find major, or paradigmatic, since they move de limits between virtual and real, leading them closer to reality. In the year 1995 Char Davies realized the artwork Osmose. In this particular work, the artist submerged the spectator into a world of digital imagery, and, she proposed us to establish a relationship between technology and our internal self. Twenty years later, with his work Clouds over Sidra, Chris Milk submerges us by means of virtual imagery, subverting and taking us into the unbearable experience of the real. The appropriation of technological devices, in the artistic field generates a considerable potential. These two artists approach the creation of an extension of the body, an extension of the skin, arriving to the point of creating systems to restore life’s sensations, using technology as a loyal genie. As long as it doesn’t go out of hand …
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Contributor : Miguel Almiron <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, May 28, 2019 - 11:50:43 PM
Last modification on : Monday, July 8, 2019 - 11:04:48 AM

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Miguel Almiron, Crosetto Guillermo. Virtual reality, a place for knowledge about our being and empathy?. Rasa Smite, Raitis Smits (eds.). Virtualities and Realities. New Experiences, Art and Ecologies in Immersive Environments, RIXC, pp.59-66, 2019, 978-9934-8434-7-1. ⟨hal-02142933⟩

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