light | image | illusion
light | image | illusion


“When a perception departs from the external world, to disagree with physical reality, we say we experience an illusion.”
Richard L. Gregory – Eye and Brain.

Which role does illusion play in the perception and interpretation of our world? What is the relationship between illusion, the image of reality and the reality of the image? What has magic and sorcery to do with virtual reality? Concentrating on these questions, the Viennese artists Hanna Schimek and Gustav Deutsch will stage for the second time the biennial European interdisciplinary project The Aegina Academy, taking place from 14th of May till 22nd of May 2005 in Aegina.

This interdisciplinary cultural project, including artists and scientists from Greece, Austria, Denmark, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, the Netherlands and the USA, would like to contribute to the examination of the theme LIGHT and IMAGE, by questioning the perception and interpretation of our world, the image of reality and the reality of the image as created by optical and optical acoustic media. The participants will show their works and discuss their interpretations of this years’ theme of the second Academy, LIGHT | IMAGE | ILLUSION.

“With LIGHT | IMAGE | ILLUSION, the artistic-scientific discourse that we started with our first Aegina Academy in 2003, dealing with REALITY, will be extended by one term, inherent in all optical and optical acoustic media: ILLUSION. Illusion is the dark side of the picture – called reality, hence it was just evident for us to focus on illusion this time.”
(Hanna Schimek, Gustav Deutsch)


Illusion lies between reality and imagination, perception and hallucination, veridical representation and fictional construction. Deriving from the Greek term pseudaisthesis, illusion means the sensory perception of an external object (aisthesis) involving a false belief or conception (pseudos). Its Latin etymology (in+ludere = in-play) points to its association with playful deception or mockery.

In terms of optical media, illusion means the possibilities of perfect illusionistic representations of reality (photography, film), but furthermore also the possibilities for the creation of fictional (virtual) realities by means of the technical data of the media and the psychological and physiological preconditions of perception (e.g., afterimage effect).

Magic and sorcery play an important role as motifs for the development of optical and optical-acoustic (trick) techniques and will therefore be examined parallel to metaphysical or parapsychological aspects. As at the first Academy, these examinations should throw light on the history of the media, as well as on contemporary and upcoming developments.

Whereas the spectrum of LIGHT | IMAGE | REALITY reached from the Camera Obscura to the digital computer interface, the spectrum of LIGHT | IMAGE | ILLUSION reaches from the Laterna Magica to virtual reality simulations.


“The goal of THE AEGINA ACADEMY 2005 is to create a public forum for an interdisciplinary discourse between the participants, artists and scientists, about the theme of the year, LIGHT | IMAGE | ILLUSION, and to generate a dialogue with the visitors on the phenomenology of optical and optical-acoustic media. We want to contribute to the promotion of independent and critical dealings with media, thus taking a step in the direction of democratising the media.”
(Hanna Schimek and Gustav Deutsch)


LIGHT | IMAGE | ILLUSION - The Aegina Academy 2005 will present individual projects in form of installations, exhibitions, films, DVD screenings and workshops in Aegina (Markellos Tower, Laografiko Museum) and in public lectures in Athens (Goethe-Institut)


Culture 2000 Programme of the EUMinistry of Cultural Heritage, HungaryNational Cultural Fund, Hungary

The project is realised with the support of the Programme Culture 2000 of the European Union;
the National Cultural Fund, Hungary (H); the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Hungary (H); the Goethe-Institut, Athens; The British Council, Athens; Austrian Airlines, Athens; the Highlights Magazine; the Athener Zeitung; the Austrian Embassy in Athens and from the side of Austria, the Art section of the Austrian Federal Chancellery and the Federal Ministry for Foreign Affairs.