Syncretic strategies: Art in the time of the Fourth VR

Connectivity syncretises, absolute connectivity syncretises absolutely. It's no longer simply a matter of the emergence of moistmedia from the convergence of silicon-dry digital technology and biologically wet systems, as much as it’s about the three VRs – virtual, validated and vegetal – coming out of their separate 20th-century boxes and merging into the continuous flow of variable reality: the fourth VR. It’s a syncretism that will make incontrovertible demands on both artistic and scientific inquiry, in that only a wholly trans-disciplinary research of mind and matter will yield significant outcomes in the domains of new knowledge and spiritual awareness. Initially, due to the limitations of early access technology, the 3 VRs ran in parallel, with movement between these states requiring discrete action. This constituted an ontological compartmentalisation, the separation of validated reality (involving reactive, mechanical technology in a prosaic, Newtonian world) from virtual reality (involving interactive, digital technology in a telematic, immersive world) and from vegetal reality (involving the chemistry of the mind, and psychoactive plant technology, in a world of altered states of consciousness). 

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