Virtual and Physical by Shenielle Thomas
When people say the words “Virtual world” people think of the digital world that mimics our own in many ways. However, artists are now creating installations which redefine what we think of a virtual world. In the works of Jeffery Shaw, we are confronted with a different type of virtual world, especially in one his pieces, called “The Legible City.” In this work, the artist recreated the architecture of real maps and cities in a virtual world in which the viewer was able to navigate through cycling. However, instead of buildings and landmarks, these monuments are replaced with words or phrases that were recovered from documents recording historical events. According to Christiane Paul, this work creates a connection between our physical world and the virtual, which we see through the introduction of the cycling. We were always removed or distanced from navigating the virtual world physically. We walk around in a virtual world usually by using the arrow keys on keyboards. However in “The Legible City” the viewer can incorporate his entire body to interact with this virtual world.