Kaleidoscope Glasses : The Inventor's Journal
(this book is currently being written/edited)
Kaleidoscope Glasses : The Inventor's Journal
1. notes before Introduction
The best way to teleport through time is to evolve your mind. Think the way a futurist thinks and instantly you're in the future. Think the way a historian thinks and you will immediately be in the past.
The process of invention is happening everyday, the future is almost always in preparation, even stillness is preparation for something, even perhaps more stillness.
Naked in the morning sun, birds chirping melodies, annoying - or not.
The invention of new experience is happening now.
What does it mean to invent something? It means a million coincidences and an innumerable series of miracles have taken place resulting in a spark with enough force to catch fire in the heart with the right amount of time and space and desire to actually bring a new idea into existence.
In December, 2011 an idea came in this precise sequence and relevance, and resonance, and nothing at the time was more important than unravelling this vision. I called it Future Eyes and they were meant to be glasses for time travel* - they would later be called Kaleidoscope Glasses, but to me they were much more, Crystal Vision. This multidimensional way of seeing became my art and building a philosophy and social mission around it became my work.
* Explain what is meant by "time travel" and the redefining of this term as a measure of motion and how one can speed up or slow down their own voyage through time by increasing or decreasing their levels of awareness. More on this in chapter 8 (Time Travel)
I noticed early on that when people experienced the glasses they were overwhelmed with levity and laughter and I could ask very complex questions and people were able to hyper focus their consciousness on very mystical thought patterns, as if teleporting into the world of memories and imagination, a kind of wonderland, second only to a psychedelic experience*. It seemed I had uncovered a natural gateway to the astral plane - no small discovery. They represented a new tool for what I called "conscious sensory exploration."
*most closely resembled the psychedelic experience of DMT.
2. Conscious Sensory Exploration
When you place a crystal up to your eye something very interesting happens, you are teleported from the worlds of memories and thoughts into the fullness of now. By exploring these senses of the body we can bring our awareness into the present moment. Then and only then can new ideas begin to form.
When you look through a crystal your brain is sent into a hyper state because it has more information to process. Each facet of the crystal represents a unique potential reality* and the imagination can begin to run wild, attempting to reconfigure the architecture into something comprehensible by the current state of the human brain, and soon your mind will shift its understanding of what it means to see.
* this idea covered more completely in chapter 4
This is a highly debated and still very mysterious area of Science. Some scientists believe that images and memories are stored in the brain*, inside your head, and others believe they are projected outward from the eyes and from the mind, and still another believe the images are floating around us in a collective field accessible to the mind only when it tunes into the correct frequency of the image.
* find some scientific references
This brings up the question, what does it mean to see? Another important question, what is the difference between imagination and seeing the future? Some people feel that there is no difference. Others feel the only difference is action. So is the verb "to see" an action or reaction?*
*do we have free will? what is the historical understanding of fate or destiny?
When you focus on something or talk about something are you in fact accelerating your consciousness in the direction of that reality? If so, then we have finally ended the confusion about free will, because we have proven that we can in fact choose our perception of reality based on the feelings we are desiring.
Optical aerobics* is a term we've coined that supports the idea that by consciously exploring and exercising your senses you can improve your relationship with your mind in the same way as you might strengthen your physical body by swimming or dancing or making love.
* see later chapter for more in depth examination of "Optical Aerobics."
These glasses began to represent a kind of evolutionary leap for humanity - in the rapidly approaching age of virtual reality - they offered an ultra-human experience using natural technology to recalibrate the mind body relationship.
Kaleidoscope glasses are strange words to define this invention. The word kaleidoscope historically refers to an optical instrument or device with moving pieces of glass and a wheel that turns with mirrors to create a dazzling mandala effect in motion. The word kaleidoscope derives from the ancient Greek words kalos (beauty) eidos (that which is seen, shape) and skopeo (to look at) all translating to the "observation of beautiful forms." A more accurate description would be crystal vision glasses but because of the programming over generations starting with The Beatles' phrase "the girl with kaleidoscope eyes" in the 1974 song "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" which referred to the LSD craze sweeping the nation at that time. That song and the psychedelic art of the time inspired by hallucinogenic drugs and psycho tropic medicines would become symbolic of a kaleidoscopic way of seeing the world.
A series of films* would start to explore these ideas and camera effects - actually using crystals in front of the lens - to simulate an acid trip or altered state or opening of the third eye. Still with all this kaleidoscopic art being made the invention of kaleidoscope glasses would have to wait almost 40 years before they were actually created.
Kaleidoscopes however were widely popular as instruments of playing with light but hardly had any other purpose but the joyful appreciation of pretty light effects. The kaleidoscope was invented in 1816 by a man named David Brewster in Scotland who was studying many aspects of the physical sciences focusing on optics and the properties of light. While looking at some objects at the end of two mirrors he noticed patterns and colors were recreated and reformed in beautiful new arrangements. He named this new design the kaleidoscope and in 1817 he patented his invention, however, the idea was too easily recreated with slightly different parts and anyone who wanted to see this brilliance could make their own*.
*Future Eyes would have a similar issue with copyright protection because anyone could change the number of facets or frame style and produce their own "kaleidoscope glasses."
*The Trip (1967), Wonderwall (1968, with score by George Harrison of the Beatles), Midnight Cowboy (1969), Easy Rider (1969), The Holy Mountain (1973, produced by John Lennon and Yoko Ono)
There are only a few recorded images of kaleidoscope glasses in history. The first one was a pair of opera glasses in the early 1800s that may have been created as a custom edition for a selected operatic theater presentation.
There also seemed to be a few floating around during the 1960s Summers of Love (there were quite a few more summers, or so I've been told) and one can catch a brief glimpse of a pair in the movie Midnight Cowboy during a wild party sequence.
The next recorded images is a very limited collection by the Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake in 2010, famous for his angles and architectural patterns, and so this style had pointed glass set in the frame and was considered an art object* more than anything else.
* Define "art object"
But neither of these designs would be made accessible for anybody outside of these niche groups. Not until late December of 2011 would they get the attention they deserved as a central part of an art project about seeing the future. This is the beginning of the Future Eyes movement in visual art and wearable sculptures - which later would transform into wearable camera lenses.
For the next 5 years I devoted my life to "crystal vision" and researching the many ways of consciously activating the imagination in the body through ritual and physically exploring the senses. For me this new invention would become a gateway into the universe of imagination, the Imaginarium.
3 What is the difference between Imagination and seeing the future?
The glasses became part of a creative ritual, and the difference between imagination and seeing the future became an obsession for me. All delusions of grandeur aside who are we but the creators of the eternal now? Seriously. After all, in any moment we can alter the shape and sound of the universe, with a very simple motion we can send the entire cosmos hurling in one direction, or the other. Give it a try. Pick up this book or your computer and toss it across the room and witness how the next few minutes, possibly hours, are completely altered. The crystal lens is the perfect symbol for exactly this, the infinite possibilities in any given moment and the even more innumerable potential realities waiting to be born on an idea, of every choice we make consciously or unconsciously. Simply say yes and observe the ubiquitous forest of eyes come to your doorstep and peak in to great the now, sprouting arms and legs with blossoming curiosity.
Kaleidoscope glasses are a key for self exploration, with the power to invert through patterns, to open up pathways of self reflection, they help you see what you are projecting! After only a few moments of wearing them most people feel a sensation, an ache, in the center of the head. There are many ways to interpret this. After many years of investigation and surveying I found that their are certain people open to new experience, living more often in a state of wonder, raw and ready for letting go and breaking open their head*, so to speak, while others are locked into their focus, their mission, their identity (for better or worse). This is an observation without judgement; clearly there are a range of personality types. If we consider the idea that some characteristics are more useful than others then it would benefit us to have a technology to grow more aware and selective of the behavior patterns we want or that bring us the optimal emotional reaction. This is emotional intelligence and supposing our reward in life is emotional it could be extremely valuable a discovery that one could in fact choose their perception of reality based on the feeling it gives you. Looking through a crystal reminds you that we are creating the world around us all day long with our thoughts, that with each new idea we are planting seeds for the world to come.
* homage to Daniel Pinchbeck's mind opening book "Breaking Open the Head"
4 – Potential Reality
Action waters those seeds of the minds eye. Another important aspect of crystal vision is each person’s unique affection for colors. Some people find themselves vibrating with a red, yellow, or blue frequency while others are green, orange, or violet, as well as harmonies of color fields, triads and obscure color patterns, there are radiant subtle bodies and deep, subdued astral bodies. Its what makes us unique.
When we choose to use such tools as kaleidoscopes or other optical instruments we allow ourselves the opportunity to open up a gateway between the here and now and the visionary realms of the mind’s eye, like the white rabbit lead Alice into the wonderland or the cyclone that carried Dorothy to Oz, the architecture of a crystal rips apart space and time, like the cyclone, and teleports the mind through this reality into an un-definable space full of potential realities. Its opposite of the observer effect in a way, reversing the wave-particle phenomenon into a particle-wave perspective; we set things in motion and the existential world bends to the will of this undefined biomorphic sacred geometry in the glass, and the unique patterns of the glass provide options for introspection and the reconfiguration of space-time, rivers flow in oblique angles, birds fly upside down and split off into seemingly impossible flight patterns, one wing heading north and the other south as if new migratory patterns have taken hold of and shifted the DNA map that was given at birth, as if altering the molecular biology of the creature in mid flight, simply by splitting its form in the mind, it’s a morphogenetic cause effect by observation. The observer effect is one of the greatest mysteries in science, and more and more we as a species our contributing our mental touch to what we see. It is one of the main functions of a human being.
5 – Kaleidoscopes and The modern festival
There is a very wonderful relationship forming with kaleidoscope glasses and the modern festival culture. A perfect synergy can be found between light and sound in the midst of thousands of people or alone in nature there is a sensationalism about sensory exploration in community celebration and dancing with light and sound creates a heightened chemical state naturally, but with the help of “medicines” such as MDMA, LSD, and ketamine, etc, you can really push the envelope of human experience, not to mention all the new pharmacological and neurological recipes being introduced by way of certified chemistry labs or hacked together in bathtubs.
The world is clearly craving a more rich connection to source, and the really awake people are finding it in yoga practices and conscious holistic eating practices as well as sensory exploration, breath-work and optical aerobics* and the more scientific pineal gland recalibration techniques involving bioptrons, didgeridoos for chakra tuning combined with holotropic breath work and mantra based chanting.
This is a term I have incorporated into this art project and various installations and borrowed originally from a book by Alduous Huxley called “The Art of Seeing” where he discusses methods for improving the eyes through optical exercises, and different focusing techniques.