Image Consumption

Images that taste better than the real thing

Photoshopped models are more alluring than living people. Luxury labels are worth more than the clothing they brand. The images on food packaging look better than the meal tastes. Welcome to the world of Image Consumption. Among all animals, humans are uniquely capable of “consuming” image instead of substance. In our media-saturated society, it can be hard to see things for what they really are. But what makes reality any more “real” than our perception of it?

A Society of Simulations

ESSAY BY Van Mensvoort
April 13th 2009

An interviewer once asked Pablo Picasso why he paints such strange pictures instead of painting things the way they are. Picasso asks the man what he means. The man then takes out a photograph from his wallet and says, “This is my wife!”. Picasso looks at the photo and then says: “Isn’t she rather short and flat?”.


This essay aims to increase our understanding of simulations and their impact on our notion of reality. Following on some observations regarding the dominant role of visual representations in our culture, I will argue that we are now living in a society, in which simulations are often more influential, satisfying and meaningful than the things they are presumed to represent.…


Directed by the French animation collective H5, Logorama shows a world where every plant, animal, and person has been replaced with corporate logos.

Credit on Color – Rainbow of Credit Cards

Van Mensvoort
July 3rd 2009

Regular readers of this website know we are keen to speculate that our global financial system is best perceived as an ecology, which although originally constructed by man, has now gained a certain agency of its own.…

Software Fakes an Active Social Life While You’re on the Sofa

Allison Guy
February 11th 2013

Now that our cooler friends can Instagram, tweet, and FourSquare the heck out of every underground concert and speakeasy cocktail, FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) has become a persistent problem for the less-hip.…

“Soylent” Liquid Meals Will Save the World

Alice Fumey
March 25th 2013

Rob Rhinehart has found a way to stop eating. Tired of spending time, money and energy on preparing meals, this young American decided to find a new way to survive without actual food.…