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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 interfere with the visual field which should be as featureless and uniform as possible]. Double the layers if necessary. For a greater feeling of sensory isolation use earbud headphones and listen to white noise, the sound of a waterfall or rain.

Instructions for use:

Wear this at home. Get someone to guide you through the house, local streets, a park or through some woods. Somewhere with interesting light qualities. You will need to trust the guide. Preferably you should not know where you are going. You do not need to speak. You will not know the duration or the destination.

Think about the experience of the light as you move through space. How do you sense the space? Notice the sensations underfoot your legs and hands. You may feel vulnerable. You may feel intense boredom. It’s important to try and endure these feelings. Afterwards, draw maps of the journey and note senses feelings and thoughts. Compare and discuss your experience.

From Antony Hall Experiments in Art and Perceptual Illusion

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Artist, educator, and researcher working between the fields of science and art.

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