Virtual Reality, Medieval-Style

Margaret Wertheim at Cabinet Magazine:

The frescos in Assisi heralded a revolution both in representation and in metaphysical leaning whose consequences for Western art, philosophy, and science can hardly be underestimated. It is here, too, that we may locate the seed of the video gaming industry. Bacon was giving voice to an emerging view that the God of Judeo-Christianity had created the world according to geometric laws and that Truth was thus to be found in geometrical representation. This Christian mathematicism would culminate in the scientific achievements of Galileo and Newton four centuries later and continues to resonate in contemporary physicists’ quest for a hyper-dimensional “Theory of Everything.” In The Heritage of Giotto’s Geometry, Edgerton argues that the idea that the world exists as a geometric void—which is the foundation on which Galileo and Newton built the new physics and cosmology—was patterned into Western consciousness by three centuries of perspectival representation beginning with Bacon’s missive to Clement. Thus the scientific revolution was birthed in the visual revolution of geometric figuring.

more here.