Artificial images

This, then, is our situation today: through the eruption of unlimited artificial images, we have reduced truth to the order of reality and banished the shy and fleeting expression of truth. Strangest of all, we are not dealing with the identification of truth with reality already found in science. Instead, this “reality” is really fiction—literally simulated, depicted. This reality is falsified, but it constitutes the new visible human universe. It is a visible universe of proliferating images produced by all sorts of techniques. No longer are we surrounded by fields, woods, and rivers, but by signs, signals, billboards, screens, labels, and trademarks: this is our universe. And when the screen shows us a living reality, such as people’s faces or other countries, this is still a fiction: it is a constructed and recombined reality.

Jaques Ellul
The Humiliation of the Word