do you?

May. 11th, 2011 02:00 am
Do you wash your earphones? Should you?

Imagine that you live inside a transparent bubble(problems of air supply and waste management magically solved). The material around you is very flexible, it conforms to any action you take. When you bend down to pick up a ball it forms a film around your fingers. The feel of textures is transposed through the membrane. So, the bubble is not necessarily spherical but takes whatever shape a situation requires. While inside you interact and sense the world but never contact it with your skin.

Now paint the bubble black. You are blind. Remove your senses of smell, hearing, taste. Fumble through a world composed of touch, Braille landscapes in a museum of even surfaces, rich layers of intensely detailed sensation.

The outer surface of the bubble becomes a camera, the inner surface becomes a screen. Microparticle detectors send readings to smell broadcasters which recreate scents. Microphones pick up audio and speakers inside immediately play it at perfect volume. For outward movements events are transposed similarly.

Trying to transpose food raises some interesting questions about boundaries, about what happens to artifacts that cross. The bubble has to behave somewhat like a black body in that signals passing in do not pass out. What is emitted is a re-creation of response, mediated, twice removed. So, a sandwich that passes into the bubble is destroyed as it is perfectly recorded. The record is passed inside the bubble and a sandwich is recreated to exact specifications. Or, grotesquely, the interface sits flush with your gullet, broadcasting food sensation and flavor, transposing nutrition and fabricating shit. Someone has to.

I suppose I'll wash my headphones, wipe them down at least.


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