Lev Manovich
[Artist, theorist, and critic, b. 1960, Moscow, lives in New York.]

 The digital image annihilates photography while solidifying, glorifying and immortalizing the photographic. 
 ... the reason we think that computer graphics technology has succeeded in faking reality is that we, over the course of the last hundred and fifty years, have come to accept the image of photography and film as reality. 
 Any unique image that you desire probably already exists on the internet or in some database... the problem today is no longer how to create the right image, but how to find an already existing one. 
 Once we came to accept the photographic image as reality, the way to its future simulation was open. 
 ... while in theory digital technology entails the flawless replication of data, its actual use in contemporary society is characterized by the loss of data, degradation, and noise; the noise which is even stronger than that of traditional photography. 
 We turn our own lives into an information archive by storing all our emails, SMS, digital photos, and other “digital traces” of our existence. 
 As digital and network media rapidly become an omnipresent in our society, and as most artists come to routinely use these new media, the field is facing a danger of becoming a ghetto whose participants would be united by their fetishism of latest computer technology, rather than by any deeper conceptual, ideological or aesthetic issues—a kind of local club for photo enthusiasts. 
 ... what is faked [by the computerization of image-making], of course, is not reality, but photographic reality, reality as seen by the camera lens. In other words, what computer graphics have (almost) achieved is not realism, but rather only photorealism—the ability to fake not our perceptual and bodily experience of reality but only its photographic image. 
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