What is our Plato’s cave when exploring the world? That is about one performance and many metaphors.
Spaces, that ended last weekend as a VR performance, promised to offer a new perspective on many events and terms we took for granted: from 9/11 and Plato’s cave to gravitation. Did it fulfill this promise?
It is no discovery that VR has caught people’s imagination. It may be because in this computer stimulated reality, our senses are extended. But Spaces' exhibition exaggerated our imagination even more, forcing us to imagine the seemingly unimaginable - for example, the future development of the surface of the Moon - which may actually become reality in our lifetime.
Every day we are trying to understand the world that surrounds us. Thanks to technology that extends our senses, we can understand it quicker and easier. But do we really do it? What if in this act, we are only prisoners of ideological and political systems? Plato's cave may be an answer to our constant futile struggles.
The contemporary reading of the cave metaphor also generates doubts: what if the cave has no boundaries? Science is an activity that attempts to enable us to get closer to true beliefs about the world. But still, is science not rooted in culture?
Breaking out of what is familiar and safe is the proposition of the authors of Plato’s cave, no matter what cave is our prison. But what if the cave is bigger than the Matrix, encompassing cultural and political systems? And what if Plato was right, that we should not trust our senses so much?
If you think that after visiting this exhibition, your constant struggles for finding the truth will be diminished, you are wrong. After the performance, you may feel over the moon, but only in a metaphorical sense, as you are left in Plato’s cave. You are still in the cave, even if you could virtually free yourself from it during the performance, and even if that freeing from the cage felt so real.
To sum up, The Spaces can be treated as a metaphor within another metaphor. To put it bluntly, maybe there are still undiscovered spaces. You may ask: Where could they be? Maybe they are inside of us – metaphorically speaking.