Let’s go on a (virtual) trip
You can now download your psychedelic experience
Were you ever curious what tricks your mind would play after psychedelics? Perhaps a lot of us had that thought, but the fear of the unknown, hazard and danger stepped in. But what if instead of swallowing a pill you could simply experience this state of mind through an app on the phone? Is this a new example of technology extending our senses or is it simply another instance of commodification of our subconsciousness?
According to the recent VICE article, the newest thing on the tech market are the applications offering tech-assisted tripping, like Lumenate. This app offers an experience combining a deep meditation and psychedelic state of mind. According to Tom Galea, the co-founder of Lumenate, the application is supposed to be as accessible as possible to everyone who wants to explore their own mind. But how does it work? The users need to download the application and choose their ‘mood’. Then, they need to darken the room, put their headphones on, close their eyes and face the phone’s camera light. The flashes of the phone’s light are repeated at a given frequency and through this rhythm, the application is able to guide the brain to a desired psychedelic state.
Is Lumenate yet another example of technology augmenting our senses? Or, on the contrary, is it simply a new marketing move to commodificate our mind? Can we categorize it as an on-demand sensation? One way or another, IMPAKT is concerned with both of these topics in the online web-projects! ‘Cyborg Futures: Who Doesn’t Want to Live Forever?’ explores the role and future of robots in our modern world. One of the speakers, Neil Harbisson, is able to see colours through an antenna implanted in his skulls. ‘Disrupt & Reflect’ reflects in depth on the topic of virtual commodification, digital distractions and the use of the attention economy. By investigating both of these web-projects together, we offer you a way to look at this new tripping-tech development through multiple lenses.