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Alex Baker
plywood, LCD screens, cameras, batteries, wires

Hand-eye is a wearable device designed to make seeing into an active and reaching sense.

It consists of 2 wrist mounted cameras which connect via cables to 2 LCD screens mounted inside a viewing helmet. The screens are placed directly over each eye - the left eye seeing the left hand view and the right the right hand view. As well as placing sight into an area of movement each eye is independent and so also gives the wearer the opportunity to be able to see in two directions at once.

For the wearer the environment is transformed. Although now enabled with two roving eyes each one has quite a narrow field of view lacking our normal peripheral vision. Simple tasks like walking across a room have to be re-learnt, although most adapt quite fast.

As a viewer on the outside one watches the tentative steps of the wearer as their arms and hands constantly move scanning the environment. It becomes almost like a dance with each different wearer responding differently, some staying tentative others quickly gaining confidence. It becomes evident how the placement of simple technology can have a strong effect on behaviour. How much of their attention is devoted to the relationship with Hand-eye and responding to the way the information that it provides transforms even the most basic environments.

Born 1974 in Hertfordshire, England. Lives in London. Works with sound, video, performance and machines experimenting with the transportation and transmission of experience and event, communication, voice and conversation. BA Middlesex University, MFA Slade School of Fine Art, UCL.

Acknowledgements: Ray Finnis Charitable Trust

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