Video icon Alps

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An icon is originally a sacred image, a portrait of a saint or a narrative scene from the bible. The icon is typical for Eastern Orthodox Christianity. In the digital age, icons are symbols representing things, tasks, or functions, summed up in one simple image that can be pressed or clicked on a computer screen. Just like religious scenes such as Christ’s suffering on the cross, there are historical, geographic, and commercial icons symbolizing a particular thing or idea. Modern organizations have their own, copyrighted icons, better known as logos, representing them in the collective imagination. Geographic regions, in particular those of touristic significance, are linked to typical images that most people recognize. While such images are originally distilled from features of the geographical environment they represent, they tend to idealize particular characteristics which come to stand for a larger, much more diverse reality. They are thus not simply inventions in the sense of impositions, yet icons will shape the perception of things they represent. This video represents the idea of the Alps or Alpine landscape centered around majestic mountains, clouds and sunsets, mountain meadows and farms, and small towns in hidden valleys. It is precisely the image that the local tourist industry uses, and it appears quite realistic rather than far-fetched. It is an image also serving commercial purposes, but it does not use deception and ambiguity to falsely portray what is actually the case - unlike say BP, the oil company that uses a yellow and green image of a flower or sun to represent an organization that above all inflicts constant and irreversible damage on the natural environment, including the Alps. Filmed at Pension Summererhof, Brixen, South Tyrolia in July 2017

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