Technology has grown to become a substitute for all that we do, from meeting friends to classes to entertainment, especially in light of recent events. I personally have spent more time in the past few weeks in front of a screen than not. However, technology is not perfect in recreating these situations. Eavan Boland states this point in her poem That the Science of Cartography Is Limited, “this shading of/ the forest cannot show the fragrance of balsam”. Even in the VR picture of Newgrange Neolithic Monument presented by Gerard Healy on 360cities.net, though great, cannot capture what it would fully mean to be present there.
As someone who has never visited Ireland, the nature in the picture is beautiful. Lush green fields, neatly trimmed, are lined with uneven shrubs. Livestock roamed the pastures, freely eating. Small hills spread all the way to the horizon, without tall buildings in sight. Rolling clouds fill the sky, casting faint shadows on the countryside. All the greenery in Ireland was a stark contrast to the many hues of brown found here in Southern California. There was a sense of life, a sense of growth and organicism everywhere you looked.
In the middle of the VR image is the Newgrange Monument. A World Heritage Site constructed in the 3200BCE, the outside of the monument looks fairly inconspicuous, with grass growing on top of the ancient temple. However, when looked inside, one can find items of various religious and ceremonial importance and walls covered in megalithic art.
Although a quite simple picture when looked at quickly, the Newgrange Neolithic Monument VR image really reflects on much of ancient and rural Irish culture. Seeing this picture, as well as the various other pictures posted, it is evident that Ireland has a beautiful and rich history that I am excited to uncover in the next few weeks.