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Exabytes is a take on virtual reality as it is having an impact on human life. The digital world is still, very new to human civilization. It’s been a few decades since we are experiencing a virtual world of bits and bytes. There is a gaming world where the human player lives another life made of pixels and codes. There are social media that has been trying to replicate social life digitally. Moreover, virtual reality has started making its impact on human life, where reality is simulated within the virtual world and that simulated reality replicates it back within the reality of the users. So, there are interwoven layers and intricate exchanges between two realms of reality. As these technologies are ever-evolving, it needs enough attention from different schools of thought from anthropology to psychology. 

To some people, let’s just call them gamers, the world consists of bits and bytes. Virtual reality merges with the real world – if there even is such a thing as a real world, of course. It's easy to lose yourself in a virtual world, to inhabit and become the characters and avatars present on the screen in front of you. It’s a case of oversensitive empathy, throwing your mind forward into a simulated other. Feeling and sensing what that small construct of pixels and polygons does as though they are part of your own physical self. 

If they were here with us, they would tell us about how they surf the alleyways of dreams and fantasy, of passion and fashion. In a split second, they would leave us again, reentering the world of bytes where their real lives play out. 

Annual global IP traffic has passed the zettabyte; 1000 exabytes threshold by the end of 2016 and will reach 2.3 zettabytes per year by 2020. Such a quantity of information has never existed before, and it all exists as a result of people communicating via virtual networks. Gradually digitizing them, leaving traces of themselves on a simulacrum of reality. 

Photographs, 2015

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Debashish Chakrabarty
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