Colonisation of the Virtual
We have moved into the Digital Age. This is a new age of exploration and colonisation of the virtual.
Fine art is being dragged “kicking and screaming out of the century of the Fruitbat” (by Terry Pratchett [whenever]). The virtual is out there. it’s almost empty in our corner of the universe, which means that we have not met any of the virtual inhabitants – yet.
We think that we know everything. After all, we can describe things using two dimensional models, we can analyse them using scientific methods. Science is leading the way. This makes a lot of people think that the world is knowable and will give up all of its secrets.
Digital Technology has revealed another universe – the Virtual. This newly discovered world has infinite rules depending on the dimensions selected and the role and viewpoint of the user. This is the virtual, which is mapped multidimensionally.
The world is not two dimensional and can be viewed in many ways using multidimensional models which very few people understand.
The virtual interacts with the real in ways too complex for current scientific models. Multidimensional modelling and maths are in their infancy because we need a computer to successfully manage them with the minute processing capacity of our human brains.
Nevertheless we are our there in the virtual, exploring this unknown universe. And we are at the start of the digital revolution, where we have moved from discovering the Virtual to colonisation of the Virtual.
The Virtual is another country. It is the unknown. We are exploring uncharted territories and building new worlds.
We can build crazy clones of our own world, such as the Sims. This is one of the most realistic of the games universes created by games designers and one which I find least interesting although it is a very engrossing game.
We can actually build almost any kind of world.
How does the artist respond to this?
It sounds wonderful, but it’s wild out there. It’s dangerous.
Why is it the colonisation of the virtual dangerous?
Colonists have taken over large swathes of territory. They are collecting data and manipulating us in unseen ways. There are millions of fake identities too, who we interact with ignorant of the fact that they have been created to manipulate us.
There are the thought police out there too.
The dictatorship of the masses
One of the biggest dangers to the individual is the internet troll with thousands of followers, many of them fake identities.
It’s not Joe Public; it is far worse. The roll represents the rule of the anodyne and mediocrity. Their baton of control is the spectre of being pilloried, attacked and viciously forced off the internet, losing our job and livelihood, all because of holding an opinion which does not conform to whatever focus group they represent.
While it’s true that a lot of the people who have been shamed are bad people, with opinions which few can agree with, the end result and what happens to them is quite terrifying. They lose everything for a mis-voiced opinion or an unkind thought.
It is a warning to others. Do not say what you think. Do not annoy any of the vociferous focus groups out in the virtual. They have staked claims on opinions out there and they are watching your every step.
Their dictatorship works really well.
People live in fear of voicing their own thoughts as never before.
After all there have always been bigots and cray, but now they are living in fear.
You might think this is fair enough, but it affects everyone. We are becoming afraid of saying what we think.
The list of things we cannot do or say is growing exponentially and we are losing our freedoms very fast.
So the artist ventures out into the wilds of the internet, creates images and hopes to gain an audience.
But it’s a dangerous world where they could foul of the mediocre and disappear forever.
Or be drowned in mediocrity.
Archangel Michael dealing with rebellious women