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£5,913 pledged of £150,000 goal
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By Seeing I
£5,913 pledged of £150,000 goal
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About this project

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Seeing-I is a social-artistic experiment that questions how much of the individual is an inherent personality and how large a portion of the individual is a cultural identity. Reflecting on various projects looking at the transformation of identity using digital technologies, such as Josh Harris’s We Live in Public and Sherry Turkle’s Alone Together, artist Mark Farid will attempt to engage with a broader spectrum of experiences by entirely immersing himself in the life of another person, whilst also looking at the implications of digital technologies.   

For 24 hours a day for 28 days, artist Mark Farid will wear a Virtual Reality Headset through which he will experience life through another person’s eyes and ears - this person will be referred to as ‘the Other’. Mark has had no previous relationship with this person; he is only aware that the Other is a heterosexual male, who is in a relationship. The Other is required to wear a pair of glasses that covertly capture audio and video. This footage will then be watched back by Mark, who will inhabiting a space consisting of only a bed, a toilet and shower area. This area, as well as Mark will be on constant display to the audience.

However, once the Other goes to sleep, the audience will be asked to leave for one hour, so that Mark can be administered the care of a psychologist with special training in neuroscience, through the headphones. Mark will be wearing the V.R. Headset throughout, and this will act more as verbal diary, but will also allow the psychologist to access his mental health.

During the 28 days, Mark will have no actual interact with any human; no one will react to him, he will not be touched; he will be a silent spectator - he will, however, be under constant inspection. Mark will eat what the Other eats, drink what the Other drinks, shower when the Other showers and go to the toilet when the Other goes to the toiler, at the same moment. Otherwise, Mark is left to experience the life of the Other by himself, but will Mark embrace this life as if its his own?   

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 Other. With no one to talk to, and no one to validate any of Mark’s thoughts, will his only source of validation - the Other’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 Other’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.

Want to know more about the reason behind it? Check out our informative £15 poster perk!
Want to know more about the reason behind it? Check out our informative £15 poster perk!

UPDATE #1

We have been asked a few times why the cost of this project is so high. We can assure you that we are asking for the absolute bare minimum to complete this project. In this Kickstarter Campaign, we are raising money for an experiment, a documentary and a piece of technology to be developed.

The Other’s glasses are a piece of technology that currently do not exist and the development of this technology is a costly process (For more information on the technical specifications of these, please view our FAQ's). The cinematic documentary we are going to make requires lots of equipment and the skilled people to pull it off and put it together. This includes documenting the whole event. The experiment will last 24 hours a day for 28 days (that’s a lot of hours - 672 to be exact).

The footage from The Other needs reviewing prior to it being sent to Mark’s headset so that there are no glitches in the video and audio. We need to note down when The Other goes to the toilet, showers and bathes, what time The Other is eating and drinking. Food then needs to be bought and prepared on-site, and delivered at the right time. For Marks wellbeing, we need a team of medically trained invigilators at all times to look after him 24 hours a day.

Whilst the experiment runs for 28 days, it also starts before and finishes after this. Due to this, we need to be able to asses any changes in Mark, and also aid his rehabilitation post the 28 days.

We know that it’s a lot of money, but when you take into account what we are trying to achieve, it is actually not a huge amount.

We really appreciate your interest in the project and encourage you to share and donate to help us reach our goal!

Thank you to everyone that has already supported us!

The team at Seeing I

PRESS

Sky NEWS

 BBC Radio 5LIVE

Fox Business News

London LIVE

Dazed Digital

Engadget

The Guardian

Gizmodo

The Huffington Post

The Independent 

Mashable

The Mirror

The Verge

Vice

ART 

Mark is an artist using performance to explore contemporary ideas of identity, reality and narrative, whilst pushing the boundaries of artistic actions and philosophical ideas.   

The idea is to create a gallery-lab environment where the artist will live, eat, drink, shower and sleep for the duration of the 28 days. The project also raises questions of intimacy, surveillance and voyeurism in contemporary culture and gives an uncensored look into intimate moments of one’s life; when Big Brother meets Gogglebox.  

SCIENCE

Our willingness for digital technologies take a more dominant place in our lives, obscures our experiences and how they affect our body and mind. And as a result, have started to change the way in which we see the world. As we spend more and more time looking at screens, our perception of the world changes, our perception of the other changes, and our understanding of ourselves change.

A behind the scenes video for a 24 hour test. 

MEDICAL IMPLICATIONS 

Seeing-I is a very complex project examining not only the way we experience the world, but how our habits are conditioned by our surroundings and technology. The end result is unknown to everyone, and has the potential for a variety of implications to Mark’s physical and mental health.   

One thing that cannot be stressed enough, is that this is NOT an endurance test. If we feel that over the course of the 28 days it is going too far, if it could harm Mark in the long term, or have lasting effects, Mark will be told to take of the Virtual Reality Headset and end the project there.   

Currently Mark is undergoing sessions with a psychologist in preparation for this project. Through these sessions, we can assess where Mark’s current mental health state is, and can then methodically compare how the events of the project have affected him. Mark will have a full medical check before and after this period, and will be required to talk to a psychologist for one hour a day for the 28 days (whilst still wearing the VR Headset). Medical personnel will be on standby throughout the project.   

We have already spoken extensively to neuroscientists, and will continue to do so until the documentary is made, but we also welcome additional research by anyone who would like to be involved with the project. Extra analysis and examination will need to be discussed to make sure it does not hinder our core ideals, but we are very open to further contributions.

WHY 28 DAYS? 

It is well documented but not proven, that we lose and develop habits after three weeks, so we have decided that four weeks is an adequate timeframe to give an indication of how these new habits have started to influence Mark.   Mark will be experiencing the footage from the Other six days in the past. This allows the behind the scenes crew to prepare the food Mark will eat and drink. Mark will eat, shower and go to the toilet when the Other does, and interact with no one, except for the psychologist over the 28 day period. He will only experience artificial human interaction through the Other.

LOCATION  

The gallery space - in London - will be the home for Mark during these 28 days. He will enter the space with the Virtual Reality Headset, unaware of his new surroundings. The space will comprise of a bed and table along with a shower, bath, toilet and sink. This space will be open to visitors where they will be able to see Mark for the duration of the project, but will obviously be unable to communicate with Mark.    

VIRTUAL REALITY HEADSET

Virtual Reality equipment is not new but has recently been brought back to the attention within the media, with plans for Virtual Reality Headsets to come onto the market in 2015. These will give users new ways to experience the digital world, to play games and to watch films. From browsing the Internet to watching pornography, this digital reality is a physically solitary one. With our increasing usage of computers, tablets, and phones, our world is slowly shifting inwards into an individual experience, directed outwards by the different social media platforms we see and use more and more. Virtual Reality allows for a totally immersive experience into an environment that simulates the physical presence of places in the real world, allowing the user to lose orientation on one hand, and discover new worlds on the other. Will Mark lose his grasp on his own life through the introduction to a new, more virtual reality?      

THE OTHER 

The ‘Other’ refers to the person whose life Mark will be experiencing. Mark has no previous relationship with this person; he is only aware that the Other is a heterosexual male, who is in a relationship. Will the Other’s friends become Mark’s friends? Will the Other’s world become Mark’s? Will Mark’s immersion over the 28 days of the project result in Mark adopting this new life? The Other will be chosen through a selection process where anybody can nominate themselves on our website: 

www.seeing-i.co.uk/other/

The Other will be selected by Mark’s Psychologist, a Neuroscientist and the Gallery Director.    

THE OTHER’S GLASSES 

The Other will be wearing a set of ordinary looking glasses which will have two concealed cameras built in, recording in 180 degree field of view, 24 hours a day for a consecutive 28 days. Along with two, built in binaural microphones to capture the audio. Everything will be recorded, from the exciting and intimate parts of the Other’s life, to the most boring and mundane activities such as brushing his teeth or sleeping.   

See our FAQ for more information.

VIRTUAL REALITY HEADSET 

Virtual Reality equipment is not new but has recently been brought back to the attention within the media, with plans for Virtual Reality Headsets to come onto the market in 2015. These will give users new ways to experience the digital world, to play games and to watch films. From browsing the Internet to watching pornography, this digital reality is a physically solitary one. With our increasing usage of computers, tablets, and phones, our world is slowly shifting inwards into an individual experience, directed outwards by the different social media platforms we see and use more and more. Virtual Reality allows for a totally immersive experience into an environment that simulates the physical presence of places in the real world, allowing the user to lose orientation on one hand, and discover new worlds on the other. Will Mark lose his grasp on his own life through the introduction to a new, more virtual reality?      

Want to try Virtual Realty yourself? Check out our cool £28 perk!
Want to try Virtual Realty yourself? Check out our cool £28 perk!

THE OTHER 

The ‘Other’ refers to the person whose life Mark will be experiencing. Mark has no previous relationship with this person; he is only aware that the Other is a heterosexual male, who is in a relationship. Will the Other’s friends become Mark’s friends? Will the Other’s world become Mark’s? Will Mark’s immersion over the 28 days of the project result in Mark adopting this new life? The Other will be chosen through a selection process where anybody can nominate themselves on our website: 

www.seeing-i.co.uk/….

The Other will be selected by Mark’s Psychologist, a Neuroscientist and the Gallery Director.    

DOCUMENTARY 

These 28 days are the social experiment that will lead to the production of a feature length documentary examining the notions discussed above. We are currently speaking to universities who are currently doing research into this field and are also in communication with multiple psychologists, neuroscientists, artists and philosophers who will offer key expertise for the range of topics over the course of the project. These discussions - before, during and after the 28 days - will be an integral addition to the documentary, as well as offering a way for any other contributors to enhance their own research.

The documentary is made with artistic intentions, but must also be considered as an anthropological and neurobiological study that offers a significant look into cognitive complexities. And for this reason, we welcome anyone to do their research into the project (see perk for more information). 

FINALLY… 

This is a very ambitious project, so there is a lot to take into consideration when it comes to cost. Just to give you an insight into the size of this project, Mark will require a team of medically trained invigilators at all times over the course of the 28 days as well as camera men, technicians and assistants on site 24 hours a day. This means sleeping accommodation and amenities must be provided for them onsite.   

Onsite editors will be present at all times to process the footage of the Other’s life to ensure that there are no glitches, note down when the Other showers, goes to the toilet, eats and drinks. This job is crucial as the appropriate food must be prepared on time, and staff must be aware of when Mark needs to shower or go to the toilet in correspondence with the footage he is viewing. 

The only way this experiment and documentary will go ahead is if we acquire the funding through KickStarter. This will ensure the findings remain truthful and unbiased. But even if you do not donate, please share this project as sharing is just as important in helping to tell the story of who we think we are.

Risks and challenges

Whilst the technology for the Other’s glasses does exist, it has not been implemented in the ways that we require. We are working closely with a glasses designer who will encase the electronics accordingly and design the bespoke pair of glasses within an attractive set of frames, as to not draw too much unnecessary attention to them.

Mark's mental and physical health is not taken lightly. We are currently in communication with multiple neuroscientists, psychologists and psychiatrists, and will continue to be up until the documentary is over. We will also be in communication with anthropologists and other experts throughout.

The duration - the 28 days, may be concluded early depending on how Mark is coping, and the 28 days could possibly be shortened depending on how testing and research goes.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £2 or more About $3.14

    We know that a lot of people don’t donate, and that not everyone has the ability to. But you have shown us that you truly care about the concept of this project and believe in us to not only, succeed in our endeavours, but deliver a unique and interesting social experiment for all to see. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for helping turn this into a reality. Even the smallest donation is allowing us to do this art project meets social experiment, and ultimately make a feature length documentary to help understand what the present, and the future could have in mind for us. For your donation, you will not only have the satisfaction of helping make this all happen, but will also receive a big THANK YOU, and will receive an ANIMATED EMAIL.

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    Pledge £5 or more About $8

    You will receive the rewards above, plus we will CREDIT you in the documentary and your name will be in vinyl on the wall of the exhibition for everyone to see. Thank you for your support and donation!

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    Pledge £10 or more About $16

    You will receive all the rewards previously listed, plus RECORD YOUR THOUGHTS on the project, and feature on our website, www.seeing-i.co.uk. Thank you for sharing your interest and you are now a part of 'Seeing I'!

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    Pledge £15 or more About $24

    You will receive all the above 42 x 59.4 (cm, not feet) LIMITED EDITION LITHOGRAPH PRINT personally signed by Mark, John & Nimrod. We really appreciate your donation, and are sure we will fulfil all your expectations with Seeing I, so you can hang your poster with pride!

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    Pledge £28 or more About $44

    A cardboard VIRTUAL REALITY HEADSET, where you can slot your smartphone in and experience test footage for 28 minutes. You will also receive a personalised VIDEO shoutout on our Facebook page, because you have truly helped us. We hope your experiences using the Virtual Reality Headset are better than Mark’s.

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    Pledge £50 or more About $79

    All the rewards mentioned in £10.00, and an open invitation to the TALKS & DISCUSSIONS which take place during the 28 days. This offer is only available through KickStarter (uk based and live stream if outside of the UK). Unfortunately we cannot pay for travel to London, or accommodation.

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    Pledge £100 or more About $157

    All the rewards mentioned in £10.00, and a hand written invitation to the PREMIER of the documentary in London (can accommodate international backers virtually). Unfortunately, you will have to get yourself to London and find a place to stay, but we will give you as much notice as possible, and you will be provided with drinks upon entrance, don’t you worry!

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    Pledge £280 or more About $440

    All the rewards mentioned in £10.00, £15.00 and £28.00, with a ‘Special Thanks’ CREDIT, plus a personalised BEHIND THE SCENES to the set during the 28 days, with a chance to help out and see how the process works for a day! Unfortunately, we cannot pay for travel or accommodation, but your commitment shows you are truly a part of Seeing I!

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    Pledge £500 or more About $786

    All the rewards mentioned in £10.00, £15.00 and £28.00, with a ‘Special Thanks’ credit, plus an exclusive chance to become the FIRST to find out what happened to Mark, in a PREMIER of the rough cut of the documentary, where you will be able to provide us with valuable feedback and shape how the documentary is finalised. Unfortunately, we cannot pay for travel or accommodation. We are truly humbled by your generosity, and you have helped us make a serious step towards our goal!

    *Travel not included*

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    Pledge £750 or more About $1,179

    All the rewards mentioned in £10.00, £15.00 and £28.00, with a ‘Special Thanks’, and the once in a lifetime opportunity to COME TO THE SET once the exhibition is over, and get a chance to meet everyone involved. You’ll be invited to JOIN OUR TEAM during the discussions over the narrative the documentary takes, see raw, unedited footage and find out about some of the logistical problems we had to deal with and how we overcame them. Unfortunately, you will have to get yourself here and find a place to stay. But we'll select several dates for you to choose from to make it fit your schedule, and lunch and drinks will be on us!

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    Pledge £1,000 or more About $1,572

    All the rewards mentioned in £10.00, £15.00 and £28.00, with a ‘Special Thanks’ and your name on the IMDB page, plus become a PRODUCER for the day. Come to our studio, chime in during the discussions, watch the rough cut of where we are, boss a few people around. Unfortunately, you will have to get yourself here and find a place to stay, but come out to lunch with us!

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    Pledge £2,500 or more About $3,930

    All the rewards mentioned in £10.00, £15.00 and £28.00, with a ‘Special Thanks’ and your name on the IMDB page. Also, come to the exhibition and do a PREVIEW 2.8 HOURS before anyone knows where it is being held. You’ll find out before Mark has ever even stepped into the building, let alone seen it or knows where it is and see if you start to believe your new reality. An option of the footage you will watch is available for you to choose from, and the crew will be on hand to ensure you eat on time, truly experiencing life as another person. We cannot pay for travel or accommodation, but YOU are beyond generous and an INTEGRAL part in of the Seeing I team!

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    Pledge £4,800 or more About $7,546

    All the rewards mentioned in £10.00, £15.00 and £28.00, with a ‘Special Thanks’ AND receive a prototype of “THE OTHER’S” GLASSES used in Seeing I. With great power, comes great responsibility - use wisely!

    See our FAQ for more information.

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    Pledge £5,000 or more About $7,860

    Choose this reward if you would like to do your own research into this. Email us as research@seeing-i.info to discuss further.

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Funding period

- (30 days)