I just was listening to the BBC this early, early morning and they caught my attention by introducing a segment with a bit from one of the Freaky Friday movies. (For those who don’t know them, these are movies based on the Mary Roger’s book, Freaky Friday, where a girl and her mother swap bodies with somewhat predictable, but amusing results. The two movies reflect their time periods — might be interesting to do it again and see how it might look today. But I digress.)
The feature was about the BeAnotherLab in which a group of Spanish artists are trying to have people experience something of the body/mind swap that the mother and daughter in the Freaky Friday movies and books experience. Using low tech equipment they have been doing this with as an art project rather than a science one. Their goals being the laudable ones of encouraging empathy and the sense of literally being in someone else’s shoes. On the site they describe it as:
an interdisciplinary art collective dedicated to investigate embodied and telepresence experiments. We believe that the understanding of the “self” is related to the understanding of the “Other” and that more than individuals, we are part of a broader system called humanity. Under this perspective, we search for innovative possibilities on the concepts of embodied interaction, extended body and extended mind by mixing low-budget digital technology with social relations, Web and also neuroscientist methodologies.
We develop Creative Commons tools based on OpenKnowledge and are collaborating with experimental psychologists and neurologists to develop usage procedures to ‘the machine’ as a low-budget rehabilitation system, and also as an immersive role playing system.
Intriguing. Here’s a video they made about it: