Ali Alışır – “Virtual Places” – 2011
Today, “reality” is manipulated. This restructuring process is, surely, designed in accordance with the needs of dominant classes. Within the density of this information flow, social amnesia is increasing like some sort of virus.
In this century, the absolute dominance of images and knowledge started to shift from news papers, magazines, and books to the digital platform. This change of space is the biggest movement of change after the invention of printing press. In 1000 (BC), communities were living in physical space simultaneously; and around the years 1400 (AD), along with the invention of the printing press, they reduced the movement of information independent from body. Information was circulating the world in the form of a written text. Between the years 1847 and 1950 (AD) together with the inventions like telegraph, telephone, fax, and television, the transportation speed of information increased; and everyone could easily reach a certain information once accessible only in particular times and space. Today, through the usage of internet and multimedia tools, transportation speed of information reached to speed of light; and information became changeable according to individual’s different speed and direction.
Information exchange of individuals, transferred from atom sizes to “bites”, became undetermined, variable, and fluid.
Throughout this long journey, information moved away from -real- space to a –possible- space; and transferred from -actual- space to the space of -thought-. Information that spreads over from –limited- area to –limitless- area is now in a virtual space. To be virtual means that individual’s being is something else. In other words, in a way, it is the potential of carrying all the features of reality itself. All information circulating in this network undergoes a change with other information within this network.
Photography has also been affected by this huge revolution since the day it was first invented. It transforms into a kind of simultaneous mass medium; and its mission is to transfer images (although previously its function was only to catch the images). While pictures are codified as 1-0-1-0, they can even deconstruct the images as well. Today we do not know anymore what an image, which was created by formula, is in reality.
In this era, as long as more information is added to the extent of image; the boundaries between past and future, and digital world and real world, become more chaotic and complicated. While formerly photographs represented lost moments in a certain time period; today, they are representatives of past, future, and present. They are calling (through digital codes) to pass beyond the physical world. They are not only dissolving the “meaning”, but also the material world.
This visual bombardment, which is composed of images, creates an endless ‘present’ in our minds that cannot meet the needs. While on the one hand it manifests the things that we do not want to see, on the other hand it creates a social alienation. With reference to an artificial world, images become capable of creating their own realities. For this reason our epoch is–instantly- dominated by images, rather than knowledge.
Ali Alışır – 2010