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The world in a box

Photos – Cinema – Videos

The eyes and the brain make a great team: together they construct pictures out of light particles. We receive about 80% of our information about the world around us from our sight. To achieve this, the eyes constantly work together with about a quarter of the brain. But the world in our heads does have its boundaries: our eyes become tired; we become forgetful.

That’s why the story of technical visual media goes so far back. In the vast field between images and imagination, we have created a massive array of media in the last two hundred years: from peep-boxes to cameras, video cameras, projectors, “goggle-boxes” and smartphones. Our aim is always the same: to generate and store perfect likenesses of the world around us and to show them to other people. These devices have also helped us to understand how our vision works and where the eyes and brain need a bit of technological assistance.

New techniques to create images have given rise to whole new industries, changed our manner of perception and broadened our visual horizons. They have even influenced our confidence in images. The scarcity of pictures that was once normal has long become an endless stream of images. In the past the production of pictures was an occupation reserved for the few experts and people who were proficient in the relevant technology. Today any one of us can take our own photos and shoot our own films and share them all over the world.

Moments are fleeting: to freeze them we need an image created by technology. Moving scenes look alive; films can take us to unexplored places and times; three-dimensional views seem real. Thanks to technology we can immerse ourselves, even in virtual spaces.