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Multiple Selves: An Interactive Artpiece

I make art to explore ideas and discover new experiences. Most of the art I make is interactive, which means that I often discover the full meaning of an artpiece only when other people experience it. For years I've been thinking about the self as a society of voices that we pull into a coherent personality on an ongoing basis. Sometimes that breaks down.

I would hold up glass spheres used for recent projects and see the world inverted and distorted. Then I'd hold up two spheres next to each other. What would it feel like to be inside a mask made from hundreds of these spheres? What would I look like from the outside?

This project set out to discover wha that would feel like and the result is a unique mask composed of hundreds of spherical lenses.

When someone gets inside the mask, it allows them to experience the world from multiple perspectives.

The experience is beautiful but also slightly terrifying. Inside the mask, the participant is surrounded by hundreds of glass spheres that function as fisheye lenses, each with a slightly different view outward. The viewer inside the mask see different aspects of the world depending upon which direction they look. They also see multiple reflections and the overlap of images from the different directions.

Onlookers outside the mask see through these lenses in the opposite direction, seeing different aspects of the person wearing the mask depending on the angle from which they look inward.

This art piece is an expression of the idea that we are all complex individuals in the true sense of the word "complex" - composed of many parts. We try to manage the competing voices within our heads and organize them into a harmonious ‘society’ that presents a singular face to world. This mask separates those selves apart again, and that is unsettling.


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