Arrivals and Departures: Media Res Lounge in Imagery Area


Session Title:

  • Immersive Environments

Presentation Title:

  • Arrivals and Departures: Media Res Lounge in Imagery Area




  • “Media res” or “media in res”, meaning into the middle of things, is a Latin phrase concerning a narrative technique in which the story (image and/or text) begins most of the times in the mid-point in which the narrative reaches its most critical point.

    In his book “Ars Poetica” (The Art of Poetry) Horace ( Quintus Horatius Flaccus, Rome 65 – 8BC) used the terms “ab ovo” (from the egg) and “in media res” when he was describing the ideal epic poet: “Nor does he begin the Trojan War from the egg, but always he hurries to the action, and snatches the listener into the middle of things. ..” By the term “from the egg” Horace referred to the myth of Leda who, as a swan, gave birth to Helen of Troy from an egg that she kept in her chest until it hatched. Undoubtedly the “egg” as well as the series of Leda’s metamorphoses are conceptual equipments that governed the entire imaginative sphere of that time.

    Antiquity imagery captured a moment in media res in which all phenomena whose nature is suddenly to break out, departure and arrive again, simultaneously, in another mental stage, performing as a unified composition in an unconditional and unchanging duration.

    This operation, similar to a gestalt effect, seems to be profound and flexible enough to meet out recent ICT’s imagery strategies. Even if it has suffered scant attention and discontinuity from Renaissance’s and Enlightenment’s axioms such as rationalism and realism, it reappears in recent imagery practices like virtual, telematic and immersive artistic techniques.

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