Today’s media technology makes it very easy to blur the line between reality and virtual reality. This bluring is showing up in some of the most important areas of our lives. What is actually so – what is, what happened or what is happening - is becoming more and more tenuous in critical areas of our lives, including behavior of our political and corporate leaders, politics, economics and even what we mean by family.
What is important here is that our mass media, politicians and even intellectuals often pass off such blends of reality and virtual reality as being real. The pursuit of power and ever-more super-wealth leads to media image glorification that is ultimately numbing - beyond the kin of the personal and dehumanizing in its impact.
As an artist, I have been interested in deliberately playing with the boundary between what is real and what could be real. I start most of my art with photos. Then, I introduce transformations and distortions that are designed to make explicit some of the alternative-realities present in the original images. Some of the initial pictures in this gallery combine images of real people and objects with fantasy scenes or elements created using a 3-dimensional art modeling program. Others are based on digital collages or mathematical transformations of the original images. The Art KOUKOU site explains the philosophy of this kind of art.
The concept of distinguishing truth from lies becomes moot when two politicians tell incompatible versions of what is so and the media uncritically accepts both of them. Substance takes a back seat to power and media opinion. Spin is replacing truth. What is important is not the truth of what is said, but how it will play out, what its impact will be.
Joseph Goebbels, the 1940 Nazi spin doctor, said Hitler loves children, cares deeply about the German people, has turned around the country’s economy, has proved himself repeatedly as commander-in-chief, has restored Germany as a powerful nation, does not flip-flop, and, is strong with deep feelings. Moreover, Hitler is bringing true Germanic values to the rest of the world, and has the courage to take unilateral action to do that. Hitler needs a free hand to do as necessary. The Nazi’s having control of the German media, the story worked all too well at the time. The Goebbels spin messages were what many Germans wanted to hear. If a spin message plays, it becomes the truth. The media evaluates a message for its effectiveness, not for its correspondence with reality.
In a sea of spin with its uncertainty as to what is real, incompatible views of the world and value systems are creating deep divisions among us.