Roberto Cigna / Facing the wall

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In his illustration of a dark reality that could represent modern life, Roberto Cigna reflects on the idea that virtual reality has much in common with Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave.”

In Plato’s allegory, the philosopher describes people unable to turn their heads, chained to the wall of a cave, facing a blank wall. Puppeteers behind them, hold puppets that cast shadows on the wall.  As shadows dance on the cave wall–projections from a fire behind them–the onlookers give names to the shadows.

The allegory is about mistaking appearance for reality.  They believe the shadows are of human form because they cannot see what’s behind them.

Just as in Plato’s time, we risk becoming prisoners of a reality that’s an illusion as we embrace virtual reality. Cigna, using subtle shadowing and a neutral palette, exploits scale in an illustration that explores the perils of technology without constraints.



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