An interviewer once asked Pablo Picasso
why he paints such strange pictures
instead of painting things the way they are.
Picasso asks the man what he means.
The man then takes out a photograph
from his wallet and says, “This is my wife!”
Picasso looks at the photo and then says:
“isn’t she rather short and flat?”
This essay aims to increase our understanding of simulations and their impact on our notion of reality. Following on some observations regarding the dominant role of visual representations in our culture, I will argue that we are now living in a society, in which simulations are often more influential, satisfying and meaningful than the things they are presumed to represent. Media technologies play a fundamental role in our cycle of meaning construction. This is not necessarily a bad thing, nor is it entirely new. Yet, it has consequences for our concepts of virtual and real, which are less complementary, than they are usually understood to be.
By KOERT VAN MENSVOORT
Before you read on, a personal anecdote from my youth: when I was a child, I thought the people I saw on TV were really living inside the television. I wondered where they went when the TV was turned off and I also remember worrying it would hurt the TV, when I switched it off. Obviously, I am a grown man now and I’ve long learned that the television is just a technological device, created to project distant images into the living room of the viewers and that those flickering people weren’t actually living inside the cathode ray tube. Read more »