“Leave reality at home.” This injunction is often used to prepare viewers for images that lift them out of their own sense of space and time, divorcing them from material reality. While today we call these images “virtual” or “immersive,” they used to go under different names in the Enlightenment era when they were called “devices of curiosity” or “philosophical toys.” And while we today experience these images in public spaces like electronics shops and movie theatres, the first “virtual” images were experienced in the domestic environments of one’s own living room. The demonstrations in this science show/workshop will introduce the public to the techniques of three-dimensional image production such as were first implemented for purposes of scientific observation and public entertainment in the nineteenth century. Using devices dating from one- to two-hundred years ago, three-dimensional images will be made to appear alongside a short informational lecture explaining their simple mechanics. Planned in parallel with Aleš Vaupotič’s presentation of the 21st century virtual reality devices, this presentation strives to build appreciation for the virtual image as a cultural object and historical artifact in secondary school students and their families.
Researchers: Assist. Prof. Aleš Vaupotič, Assoc. Prof. Eszter Polonyl