Ali Alışır – “Virtual Places” – 2011
Although we are technologically on the brink of a new enlightenment, technological developments dramatically change our frames of thought. Technology of our time so to say delaminates last few millennia and reveals an utterly different universe; the name of this limitless freedom is, Virtual Reality, which is increasing every passing day. It spreads like a virus in everywhere; just like the times when telephone took the place of telegram, and television took the place of radio.
Psychiatry claims that the first complexity of psychosis is the Christ Complex. Today’s complex can be a “Cyber Christ.” Cyber Christ is a nickname that I gave for us who live under the siege of electronic image with almost a myth status. Everything and everybody in this land of limitless freedom are definitions of a brand-new emotion that we can be anywhere in any time. Cyber Christ is a projection of us who live in the world that we do not know what future will bring yet; we live in network representations, in which codes and models depend upon fake images, imitations, and copies.
The thought that made Christ an image composed of things he experienced from historical perspective, overlaps with the knowledge of universal humanity; today this thought functions in the same way as technology, which renders desire and joy in a fictional way: Putting experiences in images.
In our day, like many phenomena “Cyber Christ” is becoming some sort of reverberation of the past. As many other things, the image of Christ is not feeding from its own resource, too. We can argue that even though the effect of its recourse continues, the image itself has already stayed distant. In the past it was possible to trace spiritualism, medicine, and optics; in other words, secret track of the unknown through the photographs; however, today through software, sharing, and technology images bring us to a certain point that disallows the unknown. In this world, which was enlightened through the codes that form the world, there is no place that eye does not see in the darkness.
These codes and pictures/images that are continuously produced, every time lead images to create a new ‘now’. As a result, social memory and thought do not benefit from real -historical- events anymore; rather, they benefit from the images of them. Images, in a way substitute the reality itself.
At this point we can think that an optical sub-consciousness is formed in all of us. The ways how we communicate with each other –independent from the physical environments- are provided through the digital processors and networks; so, we can call this as a new level of nature and consciousness. Our optical sub consciousness tends to store the information and electronic waving of this virtual environment, not our normal life.
On the other hand; our historical memory is becoming increasingly indistinct, we are squeezed by the image bombardment, and we constantly live “at present”. On the one hand we bring the strength to neutralize the reality, and on the other hand we cause to deep disappointments.
In effect, this period, as I call ‘the period of images’, is a determination of the fact that all our secure boundaries, which we rigidly rely on, become indistinct. (From religion to politics; and from art to economy). For instance, in our day visual and printed media are established upon repetition of the images that they produced; this causes to obliviousness rather than creating a memory. While our lives are being made pellucid through the reality shows and newscasts; the bunch of images constantly covers what has been said or done in reality. The period of images kind of throws away the contexts, messages, historical phenomena, politics, and ideologies related to the past…
The “Cyber Christ” complex, which is the first complex of psychosis, overlaps with the point that has lost touch with reality, deprived of the historical consciousness, and human behavior and frame of thought pulsing with strong desire to be in another moment and place. Just like the uniqueness of existence; substances of virtual world are now shapeless and unique.
Referring to the beginning; contrary to what is believed, maybe our aspects and this new life style that we have discovered recently, are not new at all. Maybe we are not discovering the new aspects of our brain, but awakening the most ancient ones. Maybe this technology is a similar way –good or bad- that illusionists and alchemists have been using to reach the potent ‘power’ for centuries. Human being might have lost this information. Yet, today along with the virtual reality everybody lays claim in this area.
Within the system that we live in, charged incorporeal substances contact us through television, video screens, and networks; in to the bargain, with what kind of information will new prophets of the virtual world and their miracles act? How will the complex of “Cyber Christ” shape the new “divine power” under the complexities of information without resources, and the world of images?
Ali Alışır – 2011