Nepopolnost Gledanja / The Incompleteness of Looking (translated into Slovenian)

Hillman, John (2019) Nepopolnost Gledanja / The Incompleteness of Looking (translated into Slovenian). Fotografija 80/81. ISSN 1408-3566

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Abstract

There is a significant but sometimes overlooked difference between virtual reality and augmented reality. Virtual reality takes an environment, either real or imaginary, and maps it into a digital one. The experience is immersive: we remove ourselves from any so called ‘actual reality,’ and enjoy something entirely simulated. Augmented reality, on the other hand, takes reality and the digital and locates them, simultaneously, within the same experiential frame. In this world, our interactions with ‘real’ reality are continuously mediated via a digital fantasy of augmented experience.

A popular example of augmented reality is Pokémon Go. This GPS location-based game was designed to be played on smart mobile devices. In the game, players explore, find, capture, battle and train virtual creatures, known as Pokémons. Importantly, as they are mediated through the screen, these creatures appear as though they are actually within the player’s real environment. When users locate Pokémons, reality and the digital appear combined. Players are encouraged to continue to play by integrating the reality of their everyday environments with a fantasy inflected desire to find more Pokémons. In this way, the game expresses something of the essential mechanism of ideology (Žižek, 2017, p.114) through its structuring of how we see what we desire. But augmented reality applications can also be more than self-contained, distracting games that lead us through the real world.

Even when not playing a game, it is possible for reality to be augmented by technology. For example, when using a smart phone to photograph Gerhard Richter’s 48 Portraits the facial recognition software indicates some, although not all, of the facsimiles of faces in front of the lens. Here, what we experience is the transition from looking into a form of assisted looking. This assisted or augmented look orientates us within a world configured to supply us with more and more information. Without information mediated through screens, looking begins to feel like an incomplete process. With no screen, no data, no information, everyday perception feels partial. What augmented reality software does is create a context in which perception connmects to misrecognition and an overdetermination of reality.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: G400 Computer Science
G500 Information Systems
G600 Software Engineering
G700 Artificial Intelligence
V500 Philosophy
W600 Cinematics and Photography
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Design and Media > School of Visual Communication
Depositing User: John Hillman
Date Deposited: 30 Jul 2019 13:35
Last Modified: 30 Jul 2019 13:35
URI: http://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/7788

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