Imagine that you’re sitting in a room with a few other people, and suddenly the lights flicker for just a brief second. Everyone looks around and then eventually turns to one another. What’s the first thing that everyone says?
“Whoa, did everyone just blink at the same time or did the lights go out?”
Well, this installation from artist Michal Kohút is a play on the “shared blinking experience.” Except we’re not dealing with a group blink, but rather seeing the world through the blinking patterns of another person.
It’s a pretty interesting concept. The installation involves a single pair of glasses that when worn, turn off the lights in the room every time you blink. Considering that the average human blink is anywhere from 100 to 400 milliseconds, that’s a pretty quick off-and-on for the lights. Kohút knew that it would be tricky to time exactly right, and his initial attempts to use a camera failed. He then sought some help from those more technologically gifted and eventually wound up with a mechanism that uses a sensor to read reflections from the eye. Whenever that sensor detects a “rapid change” from the average, it labels it a blink and turns the lights off.
You blink – the room blinks.
Of course, the wearer is none the wiser. They blink, and the world goes dark for an instant – same as always. But spectators get to experience the blinking rhythms of someone else, paired with their own. It must be an interesting experience – almost like the room is blinking, or the world is.
Check it out below: