The twenty contributions in the book are mainly from the natural sciences, technology and philosophy. This time, the word 'art' in the sub-title is deceptive: not a single contribution is about (media) art or written by an artist. The real subject is the determination of the concepts of appearance and reality in the light of the new media. Dietmar Kamper opens with his (fourth) attempt to distinguish physical mimesis and machine-generated simulation. Ernst von Glaserfeld introduces another fruitful distinction,
from the perspective of 'radical constructivism': Wirklichkeit as a network of concepts and relationships versus Realität, dismissed here as fiction. It is a shame that this lexical difference does not exist in English. Norbert Bolz offers a short history of appearances; Erich Kiefer contributes a clear introduction to the relationship between artificial intelligence and virtual reality; also included is an article about computer-assisted molecular modelling. Worth mentioning are Hans-Ulrich Reck's research into the autonomy of images using image montages from Zürich from punk and squatter days, Siegfried Zielinski's analysis of Godard's Histoire(s) du Cinéma and Friedrich Kittler's conspiracy theory about the built-in protected mode in the Intel 30386 chip. In his epilogue, Rötzer concludes that we have actually returned to Plato's cave with its projected shadows and wonders if the strategy of mimesis (juxtaposed with technical
simulation) offers a way out.
translation JIM BOEKBINDER