[-empyre-] Greetings and VR Modernism
First an introduction:
I live in Koeln Germany and I do boring computer stuff for a living. I
got a BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering with a minor in Art from
Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh last December. I'd like to go to
grad school for some kind of New/Digital Media MFA in a year or two. My
current interests include experimental music video and pop-products.
Now my comment:
This is an idea that I am extending based on something I read in
_Empire_ (Hardt and Negri). They say that there is a progression in the
history of industrialization. 19th century machines were first used to
produce personal goods (textiles) and essentially take raw organic
materials and make them into more polished goods like textiles or lumber.
Then in the 20th century machines were used to build machines like cars or
computers. And finally in the 21st century machines are, in a sense,
going in reverse and producing organic products like geneticly engineered
So it leaves me wondering where virtual reality fits in. Is it merely
an attempt to render irregular logs into identical 2x4 boards? Or is it
an attempt to make a sort of regular mechanical forest, availible in 8
fashion colors. Maybe, it goes beyond simple analog reproduction and is in
fact an attempt to make a more perfect and genetically pure tree. It
seems that virtual reality may be one last attempt to complete the Modern
project: to remake the world as it "should" be, in ideal forms rather than
the aesthetically "impure" real.
I certainly hope that this is not the inevitable result of VR. Or at
least I hope people like us can sort out some strategies to pervert the
outcome into something more fruitful and ecclectic. VRML does not give me
much hope but some of the experiments with 3D game engines seem promising
(they also run much faster on cheap hardware).
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