I use the word “virtual” without the word “reality” attached to it. Not because I think of the virtual as separate from reality but because, its reality is assumed. The only question being how it gets materialized. I use “virtual” in the philosophical sense of the term; suggesting that the virtual is the mode of reality implicated in the emergence of new potentials, new possibilities: the probable. It is what could potentially be or already is there, waiting to be activated / to be noticed / to be acknowledged. The reality of the virtual is the reality of change: the event, the moment, the situation encompassing what has happened, is about to, or could happen.
The virtual in a gallery space is the possibility that the surface of a floor could fold onto itself to take over the space, stripping itself of its intended purpose. It’s the possibility that a plinth could grow out of the gallery wall: becoming the extension of the latter. It’s the possibility that the walls could activate themselves to simulate the ripples of a curtain or to grow a small stage-like pedestal to display a part of the space itself. Above all it is the possibility to think of the exhibition space as a narcissistic being that can feel the desire to exhibit itself, to act as its own maker, to change its configuration, to parasitize itself, to initiate a reaction or movement.
If the virtual is very close to being something without actually being any one thing; if it is change as such, then it could operate as a mode of abstraction – or perhaps as a mode of translation. What is present in a space is not simply what is, but also what is not, what could be or what will be. The potential version exposed is one that exceeds or pushes the limits of what the said space is in actuality. The virtual is not contained in any actual form assumed by the objects, the images, the image-objects or their state. It appears in the transitions from one form to another; it appears in the translation. It operates in the space where a triangular process of thought travels between reality, representation and the subjective interpretation of what is presented. It exists in the time-space in which the viewer draws the links between the many pieces in their many forms and makes sense of it all.