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Themesicon: navigation pathOverview of Media Articon: navigation pathImmersion

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artificiality and naturalness are also concepts of reflection. They do not denote objects but views, perspectives and relations.[20] In addition to mimicking it, the transformation of reality has always been the essence of art: the creation of reality, collective and individual. Interestingly, certain recent findings in neurobiology propose that what we call reality is in fact only a statement about what we actually have the ability to observe. Any observation is constrained by our relative individual physical and mental natures and our theoretical scientific premises. It is only within this framework that we can make observations of that which our cognitive system, dependent upon these constraints, allows us to observe.

«Iconic turn»

Over the last few years, intense discussion has centered on the question of the image—in media studies, art history, as well as the neighboring disciplines like cultural studies— which displays remarkable parallels to the rapid developments in the field of the new media. This discussion is reflected in the works of such diverse thinkers as Vilém Flusser,


Jonathan Crary, Hans Belting, Horst Bredekamp, Martin Jay, Lev Manovich and Oliver Grau[21] and confronts a cultural process of change, which has been described as ‹iconic turn› by William J. Mitchell (1995).[22] In the course of this revolution of the new media, digital media and digital images, these novel worlds of images and the future predicted for them have been both celebrated and lamented, or even hailed as the apocalypse by thinkers such as Dietmar Kamper[23] or Jean Baudrillard.[24] The cultural effects resulting from this transformation of the media, however, have so far only been analyzed to a minimal extent. Disturbingly, theorists such as Vilém Flusser have even spoken of the ‹dissipation of the body› in the cyberworld of the media.

Interface design, to put it pointedly, has become a political issue for it is where media art and media theory are located. Recently, a discussion has erupted about ‹natural› versus ‹critical› interfaces, which either cover up or make us aware of their media and iconic foundations. The parameters of spatial organization, arrangement of degrees of freedom, avatar design, narration strategy, and in the case of

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