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Themesicon: navigation pathOverview of Media Articon: navigation pathImmersion

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Digital art is open, transient, interdisciplinary, multimedia, processual, discursive, concept- and context-dependent, and in addition, is increasingly oriented toward interaction with the recipient. Within the evolving art genres, virtual art has begun to further dismantle the traditional tableau; this time, in favor of a processual model of art. Interaction, telematics and genetic image processes not only encourage the crossing of boundaries; they also drive the trend toward fusing the perception of the users with interfaces that increasingly assail the entire suite of human senses. There are now immersive works that integrate into virtual art the genres of architecture, sculpture, painting, scenography, theater, film, photography and even historic image media such as the panorama, or at least absorb them via simulation into a space that only exists by virtue of its effects.

Whatever conclusions we draw from such image scenarios, it is clear that virtual image culture will get a strong push in the direction of illusion and immersion. This will not come so much from indefatigable engineers, refining each single detail, but


from combinatory random processes that generate the unexpected and enrich images in complex ways. It is also certain that with the advent of interaction, interface design and evolution, technology will pave the way for changes in aesthetics and new cognitive potential. The playful, seemingly autonomously acting agents,[44] which intensify interaction and enhance social presence and therefore strengthen the connection with the image space, complement the experience of immersion evoked by the images and sounds. For these reasons, increased importance attaches to engaging with the technological bases of this illusion in order to obtain an effective therapeutic agent with which to confront the widespread hype surrounding these new images. For when all is said and done, they are still images—no more, but also no less.


Translation by Gloria Custance