constitution of reality 
'This is to say: representation cannot be simply tested against reality, as reality is itself constituted through the agency of representations.'
('in/different spaces', p. 238, Burgin, Victor)

With the invention of photography first and film later the claim of perspective to be reality became less convincing, and new concepts for the constitution of reality were created. One main point then was the actuality of the image: what could be photographed or filmed must have been in front of the camera lens. In this sense the image was dialectical, because it sets up a relationship between the present viewer and the past moments of space or time which were represented. '.. In other words: an image is dialectics at standstill. For while the relation of the present to the past is a purely temporal, continuous one, the relation of the then to the now is dialectical: not of a temporal, but of imagistic nature.' (W.Benjamin)1Barthes mentioned that one defining attribute of photography was that the object has been real. On the other side he stated the madness of the representations a photographed image gives, he saw it as a 'bizarre medium, a new form of hallucination: false on the level of perception, true on the level of time ...' (1981)2 So photography created a new relationship to the experience of time, which marked the paradoxical symptoms of modernity very clearly.

1 'Visual Culture (an
introduction)', p.50
Mirozoeff, Nicholas

2 'Visual Culture (an
introduction)', p.250
Mirozoeff, Nicholas
Photographs and films offer a far more democratic visual map of the world, than the perspective system, which handed all comprehension to the powerful viewpoint from which it was drawn. Eventhough it is still a selective view through specific apparatuses and serving the needs of distinct subjectivities, we came very much to rely our constitution of reality on them. Especially photography claimed to picture the world and index reality. This fundamentally changed with the development of the digital image, which is created from binary code. There is no more evidence in the representation as reality now, because it can quite easily be manipulated by computers. But the discovery of the lack of reality is inherently connected to the discovery of the invention of other realities, Lyotard stated in 1993. 'As one mode of representing reality loses ground another takes its place without the first disappearing.'3 The virtualities of the postmodern images are further eluding our capacity of comprehension by the appearance of the paradoxical image as Virilio specified in 1994 (The Vision Machine). For him the real-time image dominates the object represented / transmitted and thereby dissolves it.
3 'Visual Culture (an
introduction)', p.7
Mirozoeff, Nicholas

4 'The Visual Culture Reader',
p.186, Mirozoeff, Nicholas

But 'with the creation of digital imagery also the relationship between observer and observed has changed. There is no longer any necessary or logical connection between a virtual image and exterior reality.'4 As well emerged an increasing visualization of things that are not themselves visual, at least for the human.

'Visualizing technologies seem without apparent limit; the eye of any ordinary primate like us can be endlessly enhanced by sonography systems, magnetic resonance imaging, artificial intelligence-linked graphic manipulation systems, scanning electron microscopes, computer-aided tomography scanners, colour-enhancement techniques, satellite surveillance systems, home and office VDT`s, cameras for every purpose from filming the mucous membrane lining the gut cavity of a marine worm living in the vent gases on a fault between continental plates to mapping a planetary hemisphere elsewhere in the solar system.'5'

Basically, the truth of what we see is no longer given by our eyes but by our instruments and their scientific interpretation or military appropriation. More disturbing, these prostetic visual devices unanchor natural perception from the field of human body`s natural capacities.'6

5 'Visual Culture (an
introduction)', p.191
Haraway, Donna

6 'machinic vision', p.30
Johnston, John

7 'in/different spaces', p.36
Burgin, Victor

8 'Visual Culture (an
introduction)', p.250
Mirozoeff, Nicholas

9 'machinic vision', p.30
Johnston, John
The crisis of the visual in the era of postmodernism where paradoxically almost everything 'is increasingly formed and informed, inflected and refracted'7 through images, evolves exactly from the acceleration and the cirulation of images. It no longer can be distinguished from where they do come, because 'the humanistic distinction between the real and the virtual has disolved.'8 What Virilio has stated before - the final undermination of the age-old problematic of the site where mental images are formed and that of the consolidation of natural memory has become a generalized cultural condition.9

10 'Visual Culture (an
introduction)', p.257
Mirozoeff, Nicholas
There is no longer any visual carrier material at all, any digital information can be put down and described by algorythms.
So the notion of the world-picture, can no longer stand for the changing situation. Today visual culture has to deal with a fragmented view and complex pictures, which are not created from one medium or in one place. The attention is drawn from structured and formal viewing settings to the visual experience of everyday life, which has to deal with global circulation and accumulation of images and therefore signs. The new configurations of the global and local come via images and these are by no means simple or one-dimensional. Rather, as Gramsci noted of the national-popular, it is an ambiguous, contradictory and multi-form concept.10

11 'Visual Culture (an
introduction)', p.13
Mirozoeff, Nicholas

12 'perform or else', p.208
McKenzie, Jon

13 'The Visual Culture Reader',
p.253, Mirozoeff, Nicholas
'In short seeing is not believing but interpreting. Visual images succeed or fail according to the extent that we can interpret them successfully.'11 With the images driven from digital data today it seem obvious that they are mere representations and not depicting something real in themselves. Today performative utterances, like actions, events, doings, are understood to be crucial to the construction of reality, a construction that is sociotechnically ordered. 12
Years before G.Debord wrote: In societies where modern conditions of production prevail, all of life presents itself as an immense accumulation of spectacles. Everything that was directly lived has moved away into a representation. 13