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[English] Thinking about Virtual Space with (ALL) senses

We cannot talk about sound experimentation or sound without first talking about space; be it virtual or physical space.

I believe that today we cannot talk only about sound experimentation without talking about space.

Think of John Cage, his studies on silence and his experience in the anechoic chamber.

The forms of communication that we experience on a daily basis find their meaning in taking us out of one space to immerse us in another.

«It is possible to give space physical limits, but by its nature, space is unlimited and intangible. Space dissolves into darkness and evaporates into infinity.»

Sigfried Giedion
James Turrel Exhibition. American artist who works mainly with light and space.

The New Virtual Space…

…which constantly feeds on physical space, which we inhabit by reinterpreting it, giving it new characteristics.

Until writing was invented, man lived in acoustic space; without limits, without direction, without horizon, in the darkness of the mind, in the world of emotion, with primordial intuition, with terror. Language is a social map of this swamp.

Marshall McLuhan

When the environment changes, so does the way we communicate. When the way we communicate changes, the environment changes too.

James Turrel

Old Space Concepts

How can we begin to understand the new sound possibilities presented by virtual reality, without first trying to understand how our perception and relationship with space is being transformed?

Man takes cognizance of the emptiness that surrounds him and gives it a physical form and expression.

The effect of this transformation, which elevates space to the realm of emotions, is called spatial conception.

This spatial conception reflects the relationship between man and his environment.

Sigfried Giedion

We may find ourselves going through a period of drastic change, where the history of humanity changes completely. Social structures change, we feel confused, boundaries change, natural phenomena change.

New forms of communication have been established for a long time and this causes transformations in the perception of time and space. This type of perceptive transformation does not happen very often in the history of humanity and these are moments that will cement future conceptions for years to come.

These types of perceptual transformations gave way to new technologies, new beliefs and new forms of social organization: the bell, the bible, the clock, democracy, are products of these transformations.

When architecture was developed in Egypt and Sumeria, the conception of space changed completely. This new spatial view continued until the construction of the Pantheon in Rome. Then, from there until the 19th century, where another spatial conception was implanted and remained hegemonic. It was only at the dawn of the 20th century that a third conception emerged. This third spatial view is the one we are passing through and from which, now, we begin to taste its fruits.

New Space Conceptions

Already in the 21st century, our spatial perception moves between the field of «the physical» and «the virtual». A world that exists, transforms and disappears at every moment.

The only way to understand the evolution of sound and audio, in these new virtual spaces, is by opening and analyzing individually all our senses and how they relate to the everyday space we inhabit.

To understand that we are already immersed in a virtual world from which it is impossible to escape, is to begin to understand the space in which we move and how this affects us not only emotionally, but also physically.

Here is the virtual reality, we are part of it.

If by spatial conception we understand the power of any historical period to transform a simple act of perception into an emotional experience, then we can say that there is no art that is not based on a relationship with space.

The spatial conception of a period is the projection of its attitude towards the world.

Sigfried Giedion

Author: Sol Rezza
Editor | Corrector: Franco Falistoco
@ 2019

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