Virtually Augmented Realities
“The extended human is the technium. Marshal McLuhan, among others, noted that clothes are people’s extended skin, wheels extended feet, camera and telescopes extended eyes. Our technological creations are great extrapolations of the bodies that our genes build. In this way, we can think of technology as our extended body.” – Kevin Kelly, What Technology Wants
Rather than attempt to solve a problem through infrastructural means we shall instead posit and create the problem in an attempt to call attention to our current enthrallment with the digital occupation of the screen and our incarcerated nervous systems. On a tangent bifurcation of future of possibilities resources of not oil or money is sequestered but that of human flesh and brain power. As prosthetics and technological enhancements propel us into a new reality we speculate on a future instance where we choose not to pull our nervous systems out of the digital and the digital into the physical, but instead we delve ever deeper into the virtual, plugging our flesh and neural circuitry into microchip and processor, negating the optical need for a screen into the virtual, but rather bypass our optic systems with brain implants that hijack the visual cortex allowing the human brain to see the digital construction rather than the physical world of matter and substance. A new standard of humanity is set in the post-human metropolis. Those who do not willfully subjugate themselves to this new world order are deemed disabled as they lack both the physical and mental strength of their cyborgian counterparts. Controlled by human nervous systems plugged into the network, brain power traverses the grid as the hottest traded commodity. Those who cannot afford to plug into the system wonder aimlessly homeless amongst an orgy of physical materiality and digital projection. Digital projections into the realm of the physical create landscapes of a digital utopia melded over physical ruin and decay. Counter-cultures hijack the network, invading the system to expose the ruin and decay of the physical environment as the vast majority of the human collective has long since left physical matter for virtual substance. Towers of pods, aggregations of bodies sharing information and interacting in an augmented reality, rise above the skyline. Digital-selves, neural-electrical devices, and projected atmospheres traverse the grim streets below like ephemeral ghosts in a once populated metropolis.