Medialab Prado


Covert Realities: Reality vs. Virtual Reality

The question, what is a real1 world ("real" reality) and what is a virtual world ("artificial" reality) are not easy to answer. How we notice the difference between reality and virtual reality? The virtual reality started to penetrate and influence the haptic reality.

Google Earth, the most successful reconstructions of the world is a free downloadable Internet program. A zoom in view from outer space allows you to experience an omnipresent feeling of being everywhere in a second. The user viewer sees the earth complete, as if in a global position and moves in a virtual, constructed, digitalised world. Few people know the world from above. So we have to trust this bird's eye view presented in Google Earth. This experience makes the differentiation between the real and the virtual much harder. There is a great temptation to lead the people into the virtual world to escape reality (or to mix them) like cinema, TV, Internet, and GPS.

The program Google Earth gives the expression of mirroring the world, where the perfect copy of reality is shown, inclusive of all good and bad. The Google Earth "reality" is being virtually manipulated? and not the reality of how the world exist.

Can we trust the virtual, digital, reality? Perhaps there are integrated from the beginning some virtual traps, irritations in these digital copy of the world. Maybe there are some interpretations, which should irritate potential aggressors. Is that still the reality? When we trust these digital realities, I wonder how we are being manipulated.

I propose to college a different picture from the program Google Earth and copy it on the roof of the "Neue Nationalgalerie Berlin". With this bluff, I will get to the bottom the existencie of the virtual, digital reality.

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