Bleached dreams

This lecture discussed the idea of non-places and virtual reality. Our featured reading was ‘non-places’ by Marc Auge. In this text he states that a place is defined by its history and identity, therefore a place that has no relevance becomes a non-place. For example places of transit or supermarkets are non-places; this is because it is a generic place and lacks identity because of this.

We also looked at simulated spaces, an example of this is Disneyland. Jean Baudrillard explores the idea of ‘Disneyisation’ in which a ‘pleasant’ space is created, stripping away any negativity and encouraging more consumer behaviour. Disneyland is created to be an ideal place although this attention to each detail pushes it away from reality more and makes it more of an escape.

In David Cronenberg’s film ‘eXistenZ’ (1999) the concept of virtual reality is shown. The characters are in a virtual world and upon returning to reality they find it hard to get to grips with how life is due to the amount of time spent in the virtual world. I feel this highlights the want for escaping reality; virtual reality seems like the ideal alternative to life. How are we able to distinguish between virtual reality and what is real when the lines are blurred? In this film virtual reality seems so real and ideal for the characters.

This lecture was insightful. I found it very interesting; we looked at non-places, both virtual and in reality. I find that we encounter these places in our daily lives. Virtual realities and non-places are almost like escapes from the stresses of daily life. I find that these non-places are created in such a way that they’re universal yet they are like a bubble from the outside world.


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