Equine Eyes is a project to help promote inter-species empathy and understanding by allowing the wearer to see the world “as a horse”. The head set which comprises of a modified commercially available virtual reality headset, with two filtered and mapped live camera feeds, simulates the field of vision, color spectrum and focal depth of a horses sight. This work explores the situated, embodied and immediate nature of understanding the world through sight, and opens spaces of consideration for what it must be like to “be a horse”.
The headset takes the form of a low-polygon rendering of a horse’s head, fabricated from plastic and designed to cover the whole of the participants head. The helmet is designed to help the participant perform as a horse and help the imaginative process of becoming. While wearing the headset the participant is asked to navigate a small circuit which resembles a horse’s race track.
This interactive, playful installation is designed to investigate how a horse sees and how technology can be used to explore other, non-human animal subjectivities through mediated vision, play and performance as an animal. The project is part of a larger study on inter-species design, play and animality.
The planned installation piece comprises of a wearable headset which renders two live feeds from mounted cameras, mapping them for the display, and a second live feed displayed on a TV so that gallery audiences can see what the participant or wearer is experiencing.
A single participant can interact with the installation at any given time, due to the production costs associated in creating the headsets, but others can view the experience in the gallery and the participants view from the headset is projected so a wider audience can be included in the installation while they wait.
Prerecorded sounds from a horse’s race track play in the space accompanied by the sounds recorded from stabled horses to help in the immersive experience. Participants are asked to try and navigate a circular track laid out on the floor which simulates a track in a stadium, prompting the audience to consider the experience of being a horse in race conditions and the corporeal pleasures of horses play and sport.