Ganzfeld Variations [Translucent paper cylinder method] From a series of workshop in the 'Experiments in Art and Perceptual Illusion' series, aimed at changing perceptions, heightening awareness, and ‘making strange’ of everyday experiences. Instructions for making: 1/ Cut section of greaseproof paper long enough to wrap around your head. 2/ Secure with tape to make a cylinder. 3/ Place overhead. You will sense the warmth of your own breath, and the loud sound of the paper near your ears. You will see colour and light but no detailed shapes. You will see the texture of the paper, but try to see beyond this. At first, this may feel claustrophobic [You might want to cut small holes for breathing or listening, but these should not
A Navigation workshop is based on the ganzfeld experiment, only rather than sitting still, participants guide each other through spaces or environments moving through space while using ganzfeld goggles, in order to explore how this changes the perception of the spaces and sensory awareness more generally. EQUIPMENT: Smartphone / Headphones/ganzfeld hemispheres [or 2x half ping pong balls] INSTRUCTION: PARTICIPANT A 1. Place hemispheres over eyes and secure with tape. Put the headphones on. Ensure the volume is loud enough to block out ambient noise. 2. Your guide will hold your upper arm and guide you around a space for approximately 5-10min. 3. During this time record a mental map of the journey. INSTRUCTION: PARTICIPANT B 1. Ask the participant to place hemispheres over their eyes. Help secure these with tape. Ask
From the field research trip to the Middlewood Trust, I developed a set of goggles with a small hole and slot apertures. Participants report different perceptions of time and space, and of sound and distances. I thought I had walked for a great distance, only to find I had only moved a few meters. One participant spoke of having 'microscope eyes' and how 'the closer you get to things, the less you can see of them' focussing and depth of field also become more apparent. Here is the extract from my experience: "Seeing through the small aperture also had the effect of making things seem like an old movie [grainy and soft-edged]. After wearing these for a while, I could hear others
The Ganzfeld [ 'total field' ] experiment is a form of perceptual deprivation, giving an experience of a uniform field of light [More information here] . has become a staple activity in my workshops. Rather than sitting still and listening to sounds I have been opening this up as a mobile activity, or 'navigation' as I have started to call it. It serves as an icebreaker, often requiring people to work in pairs to move through spaces, following ropes or sonic stimuli. The purpose is to heighten the participant's awareness through altering their perceptual experience of space. Participants become aware of new structures of light or start using the body in a different way in order to move, becoming more
I teamed up with artist Annie Carpenter to pull together a small group of artists and friends for a night of ‘fieldwork’. We organised an overnighter to do some experiments and have discussions together in the relaxed atmosphere of Middlewood Trust study centre; an off-grid permaculture farm. I had worked here before with [Annie and Sam Illingworth] doing some workshops with their students on a previous 'field research' style project. The concept captured my interest. We wanted to create a situation where we could work as well as have time and space to chat about ideas with others. I decided rather than drive my car, I would take a few days out and make a road trip out of it and cycle.