October 21, 2012

What's next? Willy Wonka's television room?

In terms of Ubiquitousness with Bolter and Grusin, they make reference that it is the act of remediating a text so that it is synonymous with a person's capability to instantly experience something first-hand. The example they used for this was through the movie, "Stranger Than Fiction", where a woman places a device on her head called "the wire" which takes one memory from her mind and instantly copies the experience so that anyone else who tries on "the wire" can relive the experience exactly as she did. However, despite the argument of claiming that artificial simulations or even enhancements via technology equal the same experience for the user, I tend to lean against the theory.

One of the differences is what IS actually present, versus what the MIND is being tricked into seeing. It can be viewed as a magic trick. A magician has a hat on a stool. He shows the audience the inside of the hat and there is nothing. The eyes see only darkness inside. By seeing only darkness, the eyes transmit the message to the brain, "There is nothing in that hat." But lo and behold, he pulls out a rabbit! This is because the eyes did not see the black flap that was covering the rabbit, giving the audience's eyes the optical illusion of emptiness. Why give this explanation? Because it has relevance to the idea of authenticity versus replication. Although technology can remediate the visual world, it cannot give the same experience as all the senses combined. The tastes, smells, touches and memories will not be the same compared to if a person actually did it themselves.

Say somehow that technology was able to replicate the senses to the point where technology did reach levels of Willy Wonka's giant television transmitter that turns real chocolate into tiny particles and sends them to your own tv. Where does the remediation go from there? Will we be satisfied now that the senses are truly coaxed into believing that they're experiencing the real thing?

Kari K

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