“The digitized picture has broken the relationship between the picture and reality once and for all. We are entering an era when no one will be able to say whether a picture is true or false. They are all becoming beautiful and extraordinary, and with each passing day they belong increasingly to the world of advertising. Their beauty, like their truth, is slipping away from us. Soon they will really end up making us blind.”
– Wim Wenders, director of Until the End of the World
As a studio art major in an American college, I had a professor of photography and film who told me there was a time when Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa existed in only one place, and you had to travel a great distance to view it.
That one place was The Louvre in Paris.
Now, he said, the Mona Lisa exists everywhere, and all at once.
(Well, actually “now” was back then in 1998. He was referring to photographs and printed versions of the Mona Lisa at the time, when the internet was still just emerging, public content-wise. But I think his statement is only more true today.)
What is the difference between looking at an image of the Mona Lisa and traveling to the Louvre to see the real thing?
It’s not that one is wrong and the other is right.
But what is the difference?
And what are the possibilities or consequences of technology advancing further and further into the virtual?
What is the difference between pornography and a flesh-and-blood human relationship?
What is the difference between buying into a brand and creating your own?
What is the difference between accepting what you were taught and questioning the nature of reality?
Worthy questions to ask in one’s lifetime!