The Cave – adaptation of a classical Platonic metaphor

The Cave is an interactive adaptation of a classical Platonic metaphor, preserving the meaning of the original but setting it in a new context. The essence of the image of the cave is the disruption of the obvious – what is known and universally respected turns out to be false. Although Plato places the story of the cave in the context of his own ontology, the metaphor itself is universal. Breaking out of what is familiar and safe is equally breakneck no matter what cave is our prison. It can be the Matrix, Paradisia, the Truman Show, an ideological, religious or political system. The cave can also be the ‘inside’ of a VR headset, although this can be treated as a metaphor within another metaphor. The contemporary reading of the cave metaphor also generates doubts: what if the cave has no boundaries? If, like a matrioshka doll, it is placed in another cave and that one in yet another, and so on without end? Or maybe the gnosis wandering actually has the shape of a loop? The creators transfer the philosophical text into VR and present an experience which requires not only mental, but also physical effort, in order to emphasise the experiential nature of philosophy.   

Adam Żądło – audiovisual artist, graduate of the Faculty of Graphics at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow. Lecturer at the WH AGH in Cracow. He specialises in animation, computer games, photography and film. In his work, he combines the experience of working on a farm with scientific knowledge and the latest technologies. He actively supported scientific circles involved in constructing a cyborg and space exploration. Winner, finalist and participant of dozens of international festivals, competitions and exhibitions, including Sony World Photography Awards, Smithsonian.com, Nikon Photo Contest, ADOBE ADAA, Sitges IFF.   

Jowita Guja – philosopher and cultural studies scholar, PhD in Cultural and Religious Studies. Her research interests include virtual reality, philosophical anthropology and analysis of popular culture. Author of the books Soteriology of atheism as a new anthropology and The concept of faith in Karl Barth’s Römerbrief, as well as many articles on classical and contemporary philosophy, popular culture discourses and futuristic imagination. She works at the Department of Information Technology and Media at the Faculty of Humanities at AGH, where she teaches, among others, cognitive science, cultural theory, contemporary literature, and the design and use of VR and AR technologies. She has held scholarships and internships at Swansea University, Cambridge University, Leipzig Universität, Aalborg University and Carlos Universodad in Madrid. Co-founder of the EduVRLab Virtual Reality Research Laboratory at AGH University of Science and Technology in Krakow. As of 2019, she serves as its manager.