Lecture at the Open Fields Conference 2017: Virtualities and Realities



October 19-21, 2017

Art Academy of Latvia, National Art Museum, kim? and RIXC Gallery in Riga


VIRTUALITIES AND REALITIES aims to establish a space for artistic interventions and conversations about the complex implications of augmented and virtual reality. Immersive technologies coupled with virtual environments, artificial intelligence algorithms, faster processors, and biometrics are launching a new era in virtual experiences.

programme on-line

Sandra Alvaro: Behind the Black Mirror


Behind the black mirror, there is not the emptiness of the cyberspace, but the transductions between the potential differentials of a whole machine.

In 1962 Mort Heilig produced the Sensorama, this first proposal of an immersive system will soon encounter the evolution of computer graphics and its endeavour: simulate reality in the controllable surface of computers. The translation of images to data packages and the coding of complex algorithms produced the interactive interfaces and the dystopian worlds inhabited by human surrogates, but also the training systems where the bodies and movements of pilots become data, which are sensed and translated to simulated landscapes of warfare. Rendering these data as images, computers learned how to read any image of our world as data. Computer vision and the pervasiveness of networked computing has augmented the perception of the everyday world with communication capabilities and digital information which is contextualised and delivered in real-time. Virtual and Augmented reality has contributed to developing the systems that allow abstract our world into data readable by computers towards the constitution of a ubiquitous medium in which our daily interactions are under the commanding of the standards and protocols of unperceived platforms (Bratton, 2016). Postdigital Art (Bishop et al, 2016) goes beyond the interfaces to encounter the materiality of this whole machine and disrupt it building critical assemblages, which can embody the computer mediated processes shaping our daily lives and repurpose them for the proposal of potential futures. This text will introduce new artistic strategies which take advantage of the virtual capabilities of these systems to disrupt the immediacy and real-time tracking and unveil a deep time. The complex processes from where emerge our current technosocial milieu and its capability for the design of speculative futures.


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