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Indexicality, Imagination, and Digital Virtuality

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Abstract

This research examines the relationship between material indexicality and cinematic imagination in light of the aesthetics of digital virtuality. In terms of cinematic ontology, the concept of indexicality is closely associated with the complex hybridity of cinematic illusion and fantasy. Although computer simulation increases the virtual manipulation of physical reality, digital techno-aesthetics is situated by the socio-historical context of physical reality. The diffusion of digital technology gives rise to the issues of technological fetishism and dehistoricity. Digital cinema provokes the technological spectacle and imaginary attraction of cinematic images, as it is related to the aesthetics of the spectator’s body and sense. The contradictory nature of digital images expands the possibility of cinematic expression. The virtual nature of computer-animated images suggests the creative aesthetics of cinematic configuration and assemblage. In this context, this study concludes that the aesthetics of digital virtuality transforms and expands the hybridity of indexicality and imagination, and of the real and the unreal. It intensifies the complex contradiction between physical reality and illusionary fantasy. Computer simulation and digital synthesis proceed to the assemblage and configuration aesthetics of digital virtuality.

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