“The authenticity of documents and strawberry flavour.” – Jose Hopkins Brocq
When reflecting upon the potentials of mixed realities, we can’t avoid wondering about the possibilities and implications it may have; not only in our relationship to the world but also how the world will react and change. Shifting our gaze beyond ourselves into non-human rhythms and languages could bring into appearance a series of alien perceptions. The overlapping of new interactive images and space provides us with new and organic ontologies in which differences between real-fake, physical-virtual, space-subject are unclear.
The incorporation of experimental spatial experiences and construction, like the one we can see in the POLI museum of Jewish History in Warsaw, makes us wonder about the future of perception in general. The use of screens to expand, contract and alter spatial composition and language is not new. In Europe, images have been used to alter the spatial perception and, therefore, its composition since the 15th century. The trompe-l’œil is the mapping’s grandparent. The entangled relationship image and space, which was broken by the painting on wood and canvas, is now being restored with these new material images. Could it be possible that, with the development of mixed realities, architecture will change from landmarks to three-dimensional white projection screens?
This raises the question of (new)materialisms. What is the material construction an object? Does it affect its validity? Is the projection of a painting less ‘painting’ that the real painting? In the same way that the POLI Museum questions the validity of “authentic” material, the use of mapping and screens on spaces also presents a new possibility of authentic spaces. Is perception reality? This problematizes Phillips Auslander’s statement that the liveness of broadcasting devices is a claim done by the machine that the spectator has the power to recognize (or not) and assume as valid. If we extrapolate this to historical documents and validity of information, can its liveness or authenticity also be built on a simple claim, on a relationship between the object and the subject?
Projected images and screens are now changing the physical in more than material composition: it is moving towards how we relate to its communication possibilities. The production of new agents provides possibilities for more flexible and personal interaction but at the same time puts the collective aspect of information at risk. I can imagine a time in which we will replace windows for screens and the claim they put on us will be accepted. Perhaps the same way in which “fake” flavours have already constructed and consolidated their existence. Fake strawberry flavour is not the same as (nor similar to) the “real” flavour of a strawberry. Nevertheless, we probably identify fake strawberry flavour more with a strawberry than we do its real flavour. Is it a problem that these two once opposite poles of real and fake strawberry flavours have now become one?
 Auslander, Phillip. “Digital Liveness: A Historico-Philosophical Perspective.” PAH: A Journal of Performance and Art 34, 3, 2012: 7.
- Auslander, Phillip. “Digital Liveness: A Historico-Philosophical Perspective.” PAH: A Journal of Performance and Art 34, 3, 2012: 3-11.
- Bay-Cheng, Sarah. “Theater is Media. Some Principles for a Digital Historiography of Performance.” Theater 42,2, 2012: 27-41
- Marks, Laura U. “Video Haptics and Erotics.” Screen 39, 4, 1998: 331-348