October 22, 2012

The virtual reality of symbols

Through reading the article by Bolter and Grusin "Ubiquitous Computing", i have come to the realization that the concepts of "virtual reality" "Telepresence", "augmented reality" and "ubiquious commputing" all correspond to the concepts of the form and function of signs and symbols within the uses of language in human society. We are led to examine the format of "virtual reality" as a form of symbolic representation of the "natural" or physical world within a virtually  constructed format.

Virtual reality is a construction of the natural world which is based upon similarities with elements in the physical world, yet the virtually constructed world isn't necessarily dependant on any defining elements within the physical world itself. Bolter and Grusin illustrate this point by drawing the reference of an architectural representation of a house, but making a point to illustrate that the elements and dimensions of the house aren't necessarily dependant upon any previously existing inventions. Beyonnd this observation, it is stated that the computer generated reality blocks out elements of the natural world in order to encourage the adherence to its own constructed form of reality, therefore neglecting elements of the actual world in order to emphasize the virtual representations of these elements. It is here that i will first draw the similarities between this concept of a virtual reality and the theory of signs and symbols, particularly in reference to derrida's theory of differance, to illustrate how the construction of a virtual reality is comparable to the methods in which we asribe the meanings to the signs of words, and how the meanings we asribe to these signs shape our perceptions of the greater physical world.

Derrida states that we use "privledge the presence" of an object, concept, or form by observing the meaning of the word from a logocentric perspective, but in doing so we're adhering to a form of classification based upon neglecting the actual presence of the form in favor of the absence of its identity. In other words, we construct a "virtual reality" based upon a conceived premise to dictate our physical world, but this premise is in itself indefinite and the objects represented in this virtual reality are defined by their absences of presence, or differences they contain from the forms we recognize and represent through signs in our physical world.

1 comment:

anaistamayo said...

I agree with this and I think it a good connection to make. So, if we already have a virtual reality built in concerning our language vs. actual reality, does the virtual reality of a computer take us even further from reality or does it enhance our perception?

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