Fotograf Magazine

Shawn Maximo

Hybrid Reality

“So much of what we do now is always with the thought of ‘Oh, how will
this look in a different mediation?’.”1

Three years ago it made evident sense to speak of the essential way in
which the perception of reality is changing because of the digitalised
distribution of reproduced interpretations. Today, such a comment actually
comes across much in the same way as statements such as “the sky is
clear blue on a sunny day”. We now take the endless flood of images
and information, described by James Bridle in his most recent book as
“the New Dark Age”,2 to be a certainty, particularly within the context of
globalised artistic operations. There is no reason to doubt the fact that
just about every exhibition is seen by more people on web portals than
in person. It is highly likely that even pages from this issue of Fotograf
magazine will circulate more in the form of someone’s Insta Story than in
physical printed form. This situation and its urgent nature has progressed
to the “second reading”, or, more precisely, to the question of what it
means for us and how we should, can, and want to react to it. Maximo
and Bridle have reached the same conclusion, albeit using different words,
specifically that we do not yet have an inkling and that one of the main
tasks of the present-day is to define a new literacy – not only in relation
to perceiving digital space itself, but also with regard to the relationship
between this space and its actual context, no matter what reality might
mean within a society without any common narratives and truths.

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