Weibel describes endophysics as a model and simulation theory which developed from chaos theory. Endophysics starts from the assumption that in the real world there can only be internal observers of a system and that therefore an external observation can only be constructed by means of model worlds. Apart from the direct approach to the real world by way of the interface of the senses, a second approach is created from an imaginary observer position - this double approach to the world should provide a way out of the dilemma. The issues addressed by endophysics are observer-relativity, representation and the world as a sole problem of interfaces. Besides, Weibel states parallels in the development of art - from object-oriented art to observer-oriented art - in the "electronic and telematic age".
This year's Ars Electronica will focus on two new radical transformations of our world image and the new image worlds accompanying it: endophysics and nanotechnology.
The electronic world with its model worlds and computer simulations, interface and virtual realities gives us reason to believe that the world can now be understood in terms of an interface. Endophysics and nanotechnology are two different ways to study the phanomenon of interface in greater detail than was possible up to now - on the one hand on a much smaller scale (nano: very small) and on the other from within (endo).
In his book "Engines of Creation. The Coming Era of Nanotechnology" (1986), K. Eric Drexler introduced molecular "machine technology" by means of which matter is arranged around the atoms. Molecular nanomachines (enzymes, hormones, viruses can be described as machines) give us access to the microspheres of nanometric dimensions (nanometer is the billionth of a meter). By means of direct, precise manipulation, identification and block formation of individual atoms and molecules made possible by Feyman machines a la grid tunnel microscope, we are able to approach the central switching station and mixer of nature. From medicine to the exploration of material qualities or the discovery of new materials we are confronted with a radical transformation of our material existence. Electronic nanocomputers, possibly a hundred thousand times faster that electronic microcomputers, will accelerate this development.