03 September 2010

Virtual Realities

After an other bout of globe trotting, I am keenly aware of the various parallel existing and diverse realities.

While dwelling in rural African areas, it is difficult to contemplate a world where individual consumer demand is being satisfied with abundant and tuned availability, with shops that seemingly stock up everything. Where food is in abundance, water – cold and warm – never stop running from multiple taps inside a home, where there is little dust, everything appears aligned and clean, a world were people cherish individuality before community, where money comes in plastic forms, or out of a wall, and where people are busy have no time and appear to live in luxury and comfort. This seems virtual reality, only existing 'in stories'.

While dwelling in urban western settings, it is difficult to contemplate a world where basic commodities and resources are scarce and supply is erratic, activities are directed by weather and seasons, and markets offer more of the same, and time seemingly does not exit. Where gathering of food and water is a daily struggle, where written texts are not seen, activities are set by communities whom defines the individual. This seems virtual reality, which only exits 'in stories'.

These are no virtual realities, but worthwhile existing and real existences. Thus the challenge is to augment the visual or oral experiences - either by text or multimedia, or speech – with sensory information, with immersion, and real interaction.