Text in The Virtual Dimension : Architecture, Representation, and Crash Culture, Editor John Beckmann, 1998.
By Stahl Stenslie. Excerpt from the text. To read the full text online follow this link.
Present cyberspaces are pristine and monosensory. They disembody the user through glossy cheap polygons and sensorially insulting birates. Rarely is the virtual dimension mixed with the bodily fluids and designed as a holistic, multisensory body experience. And why should the stirring hot bits of cyberspace remain within the interface? If the virtual dimension is to impress its users beyond the shallow (monosensory) surface of current interface technologies – and immerse users in what the hype promises – a direct, corporal link is required. Future communication will go beyond the interface as we know it. Not into an absurd “uploading of the body” of the disappearance of the body in information, but rather in the re-emerging of the body as interface; an unpredictable, unstable, and emotional interface, susceptible to hormonal flux and biological decay, but with a “fuzzy” logic guaranteeing information digestion/exchanges in bit rates higher than any contemporary, “logic” interface.
Presently the interface restricts our experience. Visual simulations give us only a small window into the virtual dimension. If (visual) simulations function as convincing experiences, it is predominantly due to the phenomenon of the consensual hallucinations; the participants agree to believe in the mediated illusions. The cognitively induced deception of the perception is a useful phenomenon for visual simulations, but why not extend the psychophysical relationships between the real and virtual worlds and mold deadly and sensuous phenomena into the virtual dimension? A rock thrown at you in VR is not a rock until it hits your head and hurts.
To read the full text online follow this link.