RealityCPU (2007)

Our computers and simulated worlds are simulacra of reality. They provide a contrast to the real world that, when compared, reveal the value in the authenticity of reality and the qualities that make us human. However, the strict rules of reality and the limitations of the brain provide the same contrast, making the flexible rules of video games and the power of a computer so enjoyable.

RealityCPU.com explores a few similar juxtapositions: that between humans and technology, the organic and the manmade, the real world and virtual worlds, human emotions and computer stoicism, and life and its portrayal in video games. A harmony and a friction can be currently found between the these in our modern existence. This condition is explored through a ongoing series of vignettes that relate life to technology using the visual and verbal language of computers, technology, and video games, combined with a certain raw ...

Full Description

Our computers and simulated worlds are simulacra of reality. They provide a contrast to the real world that, when compared, reveal the value in the authenticity of reality and the qualities that make us human. However, the strict rules of reality and the limitations of the brain provide the same contrast, making the flexible rules of video games and the power of a computer so enjoyable.

RealityCPU.com explores a few similar juxtapositions: that between humans and technology, the organic and the manmade, the real world and virtual worlds, human emotions and computer stoicism, and life and its portrayal in video games. A harmony and a friction can be currently found between the these in our modern existence. This condition is explored through a ongoing series of vignettes that relate life to technology using the visual and verbal language of computers, technology, and video games, combined with a certain raw quality that provides them a sense of the organic. They are refereed to as Levels, a term adopted from video games that is descriptive of function and aesthetics of the vignettes.

A level of a video game presents an artistic interpretation of the real world. The content of the vignettes is the matter of the real world seen through a digital lens. A level is something that is experienced and played through, taking time to reveal its self. This is similar to the way the vignettes are experienced, requireing the viewer to take some time to fully experience the image due to the amount of animation and visual stimulation contained within each vignette. The looping animated gifs are similar to the qualities of nature because their motion is both ambient and persistent, and they reveal more detail the closer they are examined. The graphic quality of the images is distorted, distressed, and raw; things shake and jitter in a way that speak more to the qualities of nature than digital perfection. Meanings can be derived through the interaction of these elements.

In a level of a video game each players experience is unique. The limitations of the simple web technology being used to display many animations at once on RealityCPU.com insures each viewers experience with the artwork is unique. The visuals of the vignettes are displayed differently on each viewers computer due to the variety of computer configurations possible. The speed of their computer, their internet connection, the browser they are using, the size of that browser window, and the size of their monitor all affect how the graphics are displayed and ultimately how the artwork is presented. This is similar to an individuals unique perception of reality.

The mythology of Reality CPU is a metaphor that communicates why it is valuable to look for meaning in the computer and technology. It attributes more meaning to the computer than we usually provide it, suggesting that a deep connection and purpose exists between humans and the computer. The authority that we exert over technology combined with the seemingly limitless ability it provides us to create is similar to the relationship between god and a universe. The Reality CPU mythology describes our existence as a simulated reality, a hypothetical computer powered simulation so advanced that it is indistinguishable from true reality. With that, it must follow that every aspect of a simulated reality is described by a computer process. True reality is infinitely complex and intangible. This analogy makes it easier appreciate reality by describing, condensing, comparing it to something familiar.

RealityCPU.com is intended for anyone who has experienced technology. However, a certain audience will take the most from it, they could be called Generation Y2K. Members of this generation have been exposed to modern technology since birth, they have never known an existence not infused with technology. For them Y2K posed the most threat to their understanding of daily life, a complete change from everything they were dependent on.

Technology has become fully integrated with our lives, there is no going back. Despite this, the push to maintain a connection to nature has become stronger than ever. RealityCPU.com asks you to maintain this balance.

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