The Machine to be Another
Back in February I visited BeAnotherLab, a group of artists and researchers that experiment with identity through virtual reality. It was a truly powerful experience:
After I was carefully positioned in relation to the performer, the Oculus Rift was placed on my head. I was asked to close my eyes and an audio recording was played through a pair of headphones. A female voice introduced herself as Norma, a 29-year-old anthropologist from Germany and my performer for the experiment. As I opened my eyes, I was staring at the same room, but from a different perspective. My hands no longer looked like my hands, and my legs were not my legs, but as I slowly moved around, these alien limbs mirrored my every move.
I began to freak out.
Through the Oculus Rift, I saw Philippe Bertrand, one of the...