- Seeing-I © Mark Farid
work in progress!
For 24-hours a day, for several days, artist Mark Farid will wear a virtual reality headset, experiencing life through the eyes and ears of one person; hearing only what they hear and seeing only what they see for two weeks.
Inspired by Psychologist Philip Zimbardo’s ‘Stanford Prison Experiment’ (1971), Philosopher Jean Baudrillard’s ‘Simulacra and Simulation’ (1981), and Artist Josh Harris’ ‘Quiet: We Live in Public’ (1999), Seeing I will confine Farid to a gallery space, subject to the simulated life of the project’s Other. With no existing relationship to the Other, how will the constant stream of artificial sights and sounds start to displace Farid’s own internal monologue? For the duration of the project, Farid will experience no human interaction relative to his own life, allowing his indirect relationship with the Other to become his leading narrative.
Adapting the question of nature vs. nurture to the digital age, Seeing I will consider how large a portion of the individual is an inherent self, and how large a portion is a consequence of environment and culture. How will the 14-days alter Farid’s movement, mannerisms, personality, and most importantly, his rationale? Without free will to determine and shape who he is, will Farid’s consciousness be enough to deter significant change?
Seeing I was conceived and created by artist Mark Farid, is commissioned by arebyte Gallery, UK, and the European Media Art Platform, EU, and supported by the Sundance Institute, USA, and the National Theatre Immersive Storytelling Studio, UK.