The brainchild of design artists Anne Cleary and Denis Connelly, these "meta-perceptual" helmets are as simple in terms of design as they are complicated to explain when you're caught wearing one in a public restroom. By "placing peep-holes in the right places, then using mirrors to beam the light straight into your eyeballs," they allow one the opportunity to see the world in "hyper-stereo and wide peripheral visions," just like some of our differently-eyeballed animal friends. There's even one that simulates horse vision, which seems perfect for those with a My Little Pony / Japanese robot anime / Eyes Wide Shut triple combo fetish.
It's also a great way for making bathroom attendants even more unsettling than normal.
If you can get through all the artsy-fartsy jibberjab on their website:
Wearing the helmets, the visitor becomes a hybrid creature himself, part human, part machine, part animal, but also: part work of art. A work of art that challenges those who contemplate the helmet -- from the inside or from the outside -- to take a new perspective on the world.
The creators do eventually explain their motives and goals. They also describe the project (by way of yet more horn-rimmed, turtleneck-friendly exposition) as "the ultimate chapter in our exploration of what we call 'observer participation,' a notion that the artwork is only brought to life by the act of looking." As opposed to all those museums that make you fumble around and fondle statues in the dark, I guess.
Though the shininess may instigate a bear mauling, at least they'll keep most of the head intact for cryogenic purposes.
So far, these helmets have only been making the rounds of European museums. But they should be coming to the U.S. at some point in the not-too-distant future, just in case you'd like to know what it's like to walk around wearing a colander that's been welded to a couple of periscopes on your head. I just hope they can resist the urge to sacrifice their artistic integrity when someone from Disney shows up with a sackload of cash and a plan to use their inventions as part of a gritty new Animal Kingdom Safari reboot.
An interactive "Cecil the Lion's Zany Poaching Adventure" ride shouldn't be all that shocking, considering these are the same people who gave us Bambi.