With new technologies of smart phones and mobile tablets, the image has taken a new dimension. It is no longer a representation nor a simulation nor virtual substitution, but rather actual reality itself augmented by the digital parameters of mobile devices, a step further beyond the actual and the virtual into a superimposition of both. Living under severe political oppression, the Arab masses resorted to virtual reality where it is a safe haven to express themselves and their most extreme fantasies without any restriction.
Cyber societies sprout in an exponential way caused by biased and cruel regimes of dictatorships that forbids political change and public political expression. Arab political regimes exercised a heavy censorship on conventional media and enforced a single totalitarian political party that does not allow power devolution. With the advent of the Internet Arab masses imploded in the virtual to its extreme saturation until, eventually, they exploded in the actual through revolution.
Hassan Choubassi is a visual artist and researcher born in Beirut in 1970 who graduated from DasArts in Amsterdam in 2005, and from the Lebanese American University in Beirut 1996. He is pursuing a PhD in Communication Media at the European Graduate School and researching the Arab online media accountability and how “augmented reality” of new media technology is mobilized to negate a stagnated media that is abolishing political change. Choubassi is currently the coordinator of the Communication Arts department at the Lebanese International University (LIU). His works were exhibited in Lebanon, Egypt, Germany, the Netherlands, UK, Belgium, Spain, USA, Luxembourg, Denmark, and others.