Virtual Realism

Virtual Realism


By (author) Michael Heim

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  • Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
  • Format: Paperback | 264 pages
  • Dimensions: 144mm x 226mm x 21mm | 395g
  • Publication date: 13 April 2000
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0195138740
  • ISBN 13: 9780195138740
  • Edition statement: Revised ed.
  • Illustrations note: 8 pp colour plates, halftones
  • Sales rank: 1,602,096

Product description

Virtual Realism is an art form and a way of living with technology. To explain it, Michael Heim draws on a hypertext of topics, from answering machines to interactive art, from engineering to television programmes, from the meaning of UFOs to the Internet. The technology of virtual reality brought a new dimension to culture with its virtual offices and cyberspace friendships - but few agree on its merits. Opinions range from the Unabomber's Luddite activism to Wired's cyberpunk attitude to Bill Gate's commercial optimism. Virtual Realism guides readers through the debate and suggests ways of harmonizing computers with culture. Exploring a wide-range of virtual reality technologies, from a tour of a virtual art gallery to the heads-up-displays used by military pilots, Michael Heim shares the discoveries he has made over several years in the studios of VR designers. Always suggesting a harmony of technology with lifestyle, the result is an illuminating look at the meaning and value of human life in the age of cyberculture.

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Author information

Michael Heim is lecturer at the California State University Extension, Long Beach. He is the author of the award-winning The Metaphysics of Virtual Reality (OUP, 1993) and the ground-breaking Electric Language (1987).

Review quote

"A pleasant, easily readable account of several applications of computer technology to create experiential art and one or two useful tools."--The Washington Post Book World"Heim's views on technology are far removed from the routine rhetoric of cyberhype. With one foot in the book-crammed world of the humanist scholar and the other in the factories of the future, his ideas are always sensitive to both the euphoria and the anxiety which new technologies engender. Above all, his approach is pragmatic: accepting our technological fate and examining different ways to absorb its impact."--Mark Nixon, Twenty First Century

Table of contents

1. VR 101 ; 2. Virtual Realism ; 3. The Art of Virtual Reality ; 4. Interactive Design: Tunnel or Spiral? ; 5. InfoEcology ; 6. Nature and Cyberspace ; 7. AWS and UFOs ; Notes on Artists and Art Works ; Vocabulary of Virtual Realism ; Bibliography for Further Reading ; Index