Unreflective Mirror

Unreflective Mirror, by Masaki Fujihata, is a device that, in some sense, allows users to play with the limits of the VR technology (in mimicking a mirror) and reflect on issues around human visual cognition.


Mirrors reflect everything perfectly, which is often considered as a good property. Speaking of such perfect reflection, Da Vinci for instance talked about mirror-like visual realism. Fujihata’s Unreflective Mirror is a VR-based system that mimics a mirror — one can say that it is an imperfect mirror, causing various unexpected and “inconvenient” effects. It seems that the system is deliberately built this way, but there are also inherent limitations of the VR technology.

A user wears 3D glasses, then the system captures the position of the glasses to compute mirror-like images. However, Unreflective Mirror does not know “internal positions,” which causes interesting effects. For example, a user can be moving when she believes she is not — the system doesn’t know this belief and of captures the movement. Also, when a user is moving her eyes, her glasses are not moving. These are what the artist suggests as relevant issues.

This sophisticated and “unreflective” techno-artifact is designed to provoke deeper thoughts about virtual reality, the notion of realism, and what mirrors really are.

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