Our specific assignment for today as we continue mining Manovich for insights and outposts is to focus on the section on "Synthetic Realism and Its Discontents" that begins on page 184. Manovich makes the important point that the real break with the history of visual representation of realistic depictions of objects and places so they are indistinguishable from a photograph (in itself a modern way of defining it) happens not with the still image but when a person can experience him or herself moving around within the generated simulation of a 3-D space.
Manovich's approach highlights production and technological techniques that are used to create the illusion of realism, and quite rightly explains that because of the way 3-D computer graphics render "reality"--construct from scratch as opposed to record from reality the way a camera does--it is "practially impossible" to simulate photorealistic detail (192). Certain aspects have to be prioritized.
"New realism is partial and uneven, rather than analog and uniform" (196). Think about that for a while.
Today in class, we'll also talk about the icon, a la Scott McCloud:
ALSO, the new Second Life viewer has new media capabilities for putting media on prims. See my blog posting for a video that shows a uStream broadcast (done with my iPhone!!) on one side of a prim and twitter on the another face of the same prim in L1's SL space. The prims also can show Flash content and two or more avatars can interact with the content on the same prim--ie type or play on it. How does this offer more realism? More Not possible in real life possibilities? Hmmmmmm.