Seeing I : 28 days living only through virtual reality

Artist Mark Farid

Through our work at BL-NK in Old Street we very often get introduced to people doing extraordinary and creative things.  We delighted to be hosting the launch of a kickstarter funding campaign for Seeing I with artist Mark Farid & Arebyte Gallery on Monday 17 November. 

About the Seeing I project

For 24 hours a day for 28 days, artist Mark Farid will wear virtual reality glasses through which he will experience life through another person’s eyes and ears; who for this project will be known as the Input.

Mark has had no previous relationship with this person; he is only aware that the Input is a heterosexual male, who is in a relationship. The Input is required to wear a pair of glasses that covertly capture audio and video in an 180-degree field of view. Mark will inhabit a space consisting of a bed, a toilet and shower area that will be on constant display to the audience.

There was also be a projection on display, so that the audience can see what Mark is seeing. For one hour, once the Input goes to sleep, Mark will be administered the care of a psychologist with special training in neuroscience, whilst still wearing the V.R. Glasses. During this time, the audience will be asked to leave.

This project delves into the post-modern psyche, asking exactly how much of the individual remains inherent and how large a portion of ourselves is a cultural identity. Over the course of the project, it will become apparent whether Mark will begin to lose his own sense of self, and start to inhabit the reality of the Input. With no one to validate any of Mark’s thoughts because he is unable to speak to anyone, will his only source of validation - the Input’s life – become the life which makes sense to Mark? Equally, this may not happen: he may entirely retain his sense of self and exist in a strange no man’s land between his own identity and the Input’s.

The findings, whatever they may ultimately be, will be compiled into a documentary featuring discussion on what has happened from relevant academics, psychiatrists, psychologists, neuroscientists, philosophers and artists.

The reason for initiating this project stems from an interest in how much of the individual is an inherent personality and how large a portion of the individual is a cultural identity.

Over the course of the 28 days, Mark will have no human interactions to act as reference points to validate any questions, desires or thoughts he may have. Will the lifestyle of the input start to influence Mark’s characteristics, such as his mannerisms, memory, and personality, and if so, to what extent? Without freewill to determine and shape who we are, will the notion of consciousness be enough to counteract this?


Artist: Mark Farid

Curator: Nimrod Vardi

Director: John Ingle