Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Zettl's Take on Virtual Reality

In Zettl's article on the advent of virtual reality, the technology is analyzed in terms of its artistic parallel to traditional painting and its capabilities when measured against media like television and the motion picture. Analyzing virtual reality in terms of media aesthetics, specifically the realm of three dimensional tehcnique, Zettl asserts that there is relatively little difference from past works of Renaissance art and the digital creations of generated through computer graphics. Zettl makes the claim that many artistic approaches are used in both formats such as perspective, with the only true difference coming from the computerized precision that the artistic eye can perceive. Additionally, virtual reality expands on the form of television, which captures the reality of motion and sound, by allowing perspective and point of view to be controlled and altered in a manner more accurate and befitting of reality. While enhancing on real life however, Zettl maintains that the power of virtual reality lies not its ability to duplicate but go beyond the scope and characteristics of reality. This statement is reinforced by Zettl's claim about HDTV, whose standard is inhibited through its tendency to depend on the motion picture. 
Zettl's piece is interesting because, aside from the usual remarks made about coming technology, such as concerns, uses and the ethics of it all, interesting and new points are made. Zettl refreshingly sees the ability of virtual reality to not merely enhance or duplicate the characteristics of reality seen in photography and television but go beyond them. Perspective, distance and angle are merely a few characteristics, which VR expands upon in such a way, where they are no longer reminiscent to what we compare them as in real life. Zettl's originality is reinforced by the way in which he does not discuss the past with superiority or the past with disdain, points are both thoughtful and objective, making them even more insightful. 

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