“Into The Belly of the Image: Historical Aspects of Virtual Reality” presented by Grau


Session Title:

  • Virtual Illusion

Presentation Title:

  • Into The Belly of the Image: Historical Aspects of Virtual Reality



  • Today, Virtual Reality is seen by many as an entirely new phenomenon. However, the idea of transposing the audience in to an enclosed, illusionary visual space was not born with the invention of computer-based Virtual Reality. VR revives a central idea about the connection between man and picture, and is a constant phenomenon which can be traced back to Antiquity. Illusionary Spaces of 360° Virtual Reality can mean, for example, an area of ritual action, a private, artificial paradise or a public sphere of politically suggestive power; important aspects of the idea can be explained by focusing on historical examples – a visual history, the symptom of which is totality. Already in late republican Rome, in the second Pompeiian style, there were wall-paintings which extend the room by an apparent opening of the wall representing actual views into other spaces. A particularly forceful example is shown in one of the most famous frescos of antiquity in the Caso del Misteri at Pompeii dating from 64 B.C.


    Full text p. 27-29

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