AN-ICON. AN-ICONOLOGY: HISTORY, THEORY, AND PRACTICES OF ENVIRONMENTAL IMAGES. Prof. Dr. Andrea Pinotti (University of Milan) on his 2018 ERC Advanced Grant

Recent developments in image-making techniques have resulted in a drastic blurring of the threshold between the world of the image and the real world. Immersive and interactive virtual environments (VEs) have enabled the production of pictures that elicit an unprecedented reality effect, creating in the perceiver a strong feeling of ‘being there’, namely of being incorporated into a quasi-real world. In doing so, they conceal their material mediateness (by simulating immediateness), their separateness (by aiming at unframedness), and their referentiality (by emphasizing presentness), paradoxically challenging their status as images, i.e. as icons: they are veritable ‘an-icons’.