Our standpoint is that present reality is not inherently binding. In order to escape the monotony and dullness of everyday life or draw unprejudiced conclusions about society, one has to find a way to step outside reality. The feeling of reality is much like an equation, where certain conditions yield certain outcomes. As one experiences the world, they become acclimated to the results that they see every day. People come to expect certain things:
- Gravity causes things to fall down
- Feet go on the ground
- You see what is in front of you
- When you move your head left you will see more of what is to your left
- A sense of “thingness” - the feeling of existence and control within a familiar reality
The Trippy Goggles change or wholly disrupt each of these. By seeing yourself on the ceiling or wall, you become a step outside of reality, as you contradict the rules that reality sets in place. This step outside a normalized feeling of connection between actions and results disrupts the normal experience of corporeal existence and leads to a number of interesting results.
Additionally, the goggles give the wearer a chance to take a step outside not only reality, but society. The experience of using the goggles is subjective, but it is not subject to the same terms as observation of a society from within. It is not subject to what the wearer would normally consider “normal.” This jump is necessary for an even-handed assessment of the merits of the society being observed.
While wearing the goggles, one must consciously process experiences and actions that would normally come instinctively. This can be as simple as walking up stairs, or it can be as complex as manipulating an object with your hands. This prevents anything from truly feeling “normal” or “everyday” and allows for a higher level of generalized thought while observing societal interactions.
This aspect of the goggles ties directly to psychogeographical theories about human movement. Instead of disrupting the normalized path of a human walking from point A to point B through the use of localized architectural or interaction-based interventions, the goggles use psychological and visual manipulation to change the experience of movement and existence.
The experience of viewing something through the goggles should be more captivating and thought-provoking than viewing the same area with the naked eye. It should be a profoundly introspective experience that simultaneously forces you to rethink the society surrounding you, even down to extremely simple interactions like walking past someone on the sidewalk.
By forcing the viewer to rethink their surroundings, the goggles enable them to observe present society not as a member, but as an outside, more objective observer. While the naked-eyed viewer may not give a second thought to someone avoiding eye contact or walking faster when they see someone else, the goggles force you to notice this and more. You need to notice all of it, because you’re forced to reprocess your surroundings.
Wearing the goggles also gives you a chance to escape the repetitiveness of everyday life, again allowing for a chance to rethink life as it is today. Some experiences with the goggles feel powerful or existential, while others are simply entertaining or amusing. These experiences also provide an opportunity for escape from daily routines and schedules. This allows the wearer to think about whether they truly want to be a part of these sort of organized, repetitive patterns of life.
As well as rigid patterns of time, the goggles make the wearer rethink rigid patterns of movement. As
“Roads are made for horses and men of business. I do not travel in them much comparatively, because I am not in a hurry to get to any tavern, or grocery, or livery stable, or depot to which they lead” (Thorough, Walking Part 1, ¶19)
Most people in modern-day capitalistic society have a place of residence and at least one place of work. They go from their place of residence to place of work without pausing to stop and take in the scenery, and with as little interaction with others as possible. They never have a chance to make an educated decision about whether society in its present form is correct for them - indeed, they never get a chance to truly observe society except as a member of it.
The goggles should feel like they could lift you off the ground and into the sky. They should fade away while on your face and feel like they aren’t quite there (for a greater sense of immersion and reorientation instead of disorientation or confusion).
The situationist Manifesto, available at http://library.nothingness.org/articles/SI/en/display/9
Thoreau's Walking, available in three parts at http://thoreau.eserver.org/walking1.html
Segment Disorientation by Sanjit Sethi, a video of which is available at http://sanjitsethi.com/portfolio/past/experimental-ambulation/segment-disorientation/
In absence of Zero, a project by Brad Pitts available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kl5HxZ0JHto