Traditionally, the world of the image has been considered as fundamentally different and separate from the real world. This separation has been ensured by some kind of framing device, be it the pedestal of a statue, the frame of a painting, or the cinema screen. However, recent developments in image-making techniques have resulted in the production of hyperrealistic, immersive, and interactive virtual environments that blur the threshold between image and reality, thus eliciting in the experiencer a strong feeling of being more and more incorporated into a quasi-real world. Drawing on phenomenology, media philosophy, visual culture studies and techno-aesthetics, this book introduces the notion of unframing as a key to understanding this radically new iconoscape.

Pietro Conte teaches Aesthetics at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. His research focuses on illusion, hyperrealism and immersion, a thematic cluster that he fi rst addressed in the monograph In carne e cera. Estetica e fenomenologia dell’iperrealismo (Flesh and Wax: Aesthetics and Phenomenology of Hyperrealism, 2015). The author of several articles and book chapters, he also edited the Italian translations of Erwin Panofsky’s Tomb Sculpture, Julius von Schlosser’s History of Portraiture in Wax and Adolf Portmann’s Animal Forms and Patterns.