“In the post reality, there is no longer separation between that which is real and that which is not.” – Randall Packer, from the Manifesto for the Post Reality
In the 21st century, we have unwittingly become documentarians and autobiographers of our own personal and collective database narratives. Everyday, we work hard to update our demographics in social media profiles for the benefit of corporate profit. Our lives are increasingly public and decreasingly private in open source activity, tethered as we are to our mobile devices and smart phones. Our media diet consists of a smorgasbord of undifferentiated news, entertainment, and the latest viral media in shockingly fragmented doses.
With the rapid-fire ingestion of media, overtaking our experience of the physical world, we are clearly losing the distinction between that which is real and that which is not, between the real and imaginary, between the physical and the virtual. The digital natives coming of age in a hyper-connected, mediated society have no other concept of reality: they are the indigenous inhabitants of the post reality.
The decreasing ability to differentiate between physical and electronic realities thus sets the stage for a rich and varied investigation of the psychological, sociological, artistic, and technological dimensions of this hybrid experience. It’s not that we haven’t been warned: dating back through the lineage of theorists and philosophers – from Marshall McLuhan to Jean Baudrillard to Paul Vilirio to Douglas Rushkoff – the gradual breakdown of our perceptual awareness of electronic conditions has been well documented and mostly ignored. This research investigation of post real conditions in contemporary global culture is playfully (with dark humor) engaged in the ongoing project, The Post Reality Show.