Up in the Air

The aspirations of flight were essentially about overcoming physical limitations of humans. The idea of simulations and virtual realities are rooted in the same origins. The sky has been regarded as the home of the gods through out human history,…

Up in the Air

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The aspirations of flight were essentially about overcoming physical limitations of humans. The idea of simulations and virtual realities are rooted in the same origins. The sky has been regarded as the home of the gods through out human history, so it’s only natural for humans to have a fascination with the sky. The aerial view offers us a glimpse into a different version of reality, one in which we’ve violated our fixed position on Earth and look down upon it as if we were deities.
This piece is a simulation for flight. This physical piece of art exists in reality, while the simulation that you are experiencing through the piece is a representation of a different reality in which you’re on a historically relevant flight path from New York JFK to Paris Charles De Gaulle. This path is historically known as one which ideas were often exchanged to and from in the western world in the early twentieth century which later contributed to the spread of the current globalized art market.
Notably, there are unorthodox aspects of the flight experience that convey to the viewer that what they are experiencing in fact a simulation. For example, a toilet seat is used as the airplane window. The toilet according to freud is a symbol for power and control. there are also glitches and inconsistencies in the experience that serve as references to the Dada, and Surrealist movements, as well as popular culture and theme park attractions of yesteryear.
The simulations that exist today in virtual reality or games are essentially mirages where in which the participant experiences the emotional response associated with the actual experience. Eventually, humanity may access the computing power to make extremely complex simulations.
In many works of science fiction a central plot device is the hypothesis that all human life is living within a complex simulation. The Simulation Hypothesis is a prevalent metaphysical theory that essentially states all of human history is just huge virtual reality experience controlled by an advanced entity.
At this point in time, we do not possess the computing power capable of producing such a convincing simulation, just as in the past we didn’t have the ability to spread wings and fly. We are forever longing to escape the tedium of terrestrial life, especially during the lockdowns taking place during the outbreak of COVID-19 where people are sheltering in place all over the world and only have access to the world beyond their own window and their online embodiment. These virtual spaces we are adapting to on our screens or in virtual reality coexist in conjunction to the reality that we perceive, much like a painting coexists with windows in a house. The virtual will only continue to become more complex and more integrated into our perspective. The term virtual is often mistakenly thought of as strictly computational, but actually in the seventeenth century the term “virtual” was used to describe any image seen looking through a lens or even what appeared in the mirror. These almost supernatural visual add ons that we see into everyday have freed their spectators from the bindings of material space and time.
What is and is not reality will only continue to become more complex, or perhaps reality already has become so complex in the future and we just haven’t caught on to the simulation we’re supposedly living in. Whatever it is that humanity does with the ever-growing virtual embodiment, and on a smaller scale what realities we can have access to are all up in the air.

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