Visual culture in the virtual age: virtual reality and augmented reality
VR technology made one of its first appearances on the cultural stage in the 1992 horror film, "The Lawnmower Man״. In the film, reality and virtual reality are intertwined, resulting in a troubling dystopian image of the future. In the 30 years that have passed since, virtual reality has become an applicable technology, though still highly limited, requiring massive budgets, and thriving mainly in the video games sphere. Other applications of VR remain esoteric. Developing and applying AR technologies, that is, augmented reality applications that "add" information layers on reality without replacing it (such as Google glasses, Pokémon Go and so on) is also facing difficulties and remains limited.
And yet, recently these technologies and their design & programming interfaces are becoming more accessible. This development opens new possibilities for artists and designers to explore and innovate in these territories, but at the same time heightens the urgency in questioning their philosophical, cultural and ethical grounds.