Performance Piece MIRAGE Remixes Reality Using Perception-Bending Headgear

<p>The doors of perception are muddied in this mind-teasing dance performance.</p>

Remix culture exists everywhere, from music to video and even objects, but how about if you were to remix reality itself? Things could get pretty confusing. That wild notion is the basis of MIRAGE, a performance piece that uses a Substitutional Reality system (SR system), developed by neuroscientists at the Riken Research Institute in Japan.

The SR system is a a head-mounted display with a 360 video camera, microphone, and headphones to cancel out noise. It was built so scientists could learn about how the brain works when it’s confused about what it is it’s perceiving, as the system can flit between real-life scenes and prerecorded ones without the wearer knowing. This alternation causes the wearer to become tricked into thinking what they’re seeing is happening in real-time, even if it’s not.

In MIRAGE, this blurring of what is real and recorded is taken advantage of to interweave past and present—a participant sits in a white room looking at the world through the video camera, believing what they’re witnessing is happening live, as a dancer moves around them. But then, without their knowledge, the live scene changes to a pre-recorded one and the realities of past and present get remixed and overlaid. Chronology is abused to confuse the participant and create an illusionary, perception-bending mind game.

[via Design Boom]