Do the experiences induce psychosis?

The question is often posed if the experience might stimulate psychosis instead of simulate it. As an artwork it is created to be an emotional experience that can have a strong effect on mood and state of mind. This is the case with all artworks that play with the manipulation of the senses. The experience is designed to slowly build up in intensity, making only the last minute or two the most difficult to endure. In all the pilots that I have conducted I found no indication that a person is at risk. However, wearing THE WEARABLE is not innocent, it is more intense than watching a movie as realities are mixed. Many need a moment to recover, but recovery comes relatively quick. The same goes for THE LABYRINTH, what seems like an easy experience, turns out to be more intense than one might expect.

What if a person wants to stop the experience?

If a person wants to stop THE WEARABLE they may press the Wii buttons 1-1-2, which will bring a wearer back to the beginning. They may indicate to their guide a need for assistance or simply take off the goggles and headphones themselves. Some people have indeed not been able to move past the first scenes or finish the experience, which is completely ok, they were still happy to have had the experience. Most people are able to finish. If at anytime a person becomes fearful, they may escape  THE LABYRINTH by simply ducking under, and or lifting the walls.

Can a person who has had experience of psychosis have these experiences?

As an artist I feel no urge to dictate what a person can and cannot do and I do not feel the need to exclude anyone from an experience that they want to experience. When a person is in, or near a psychotic break, anything might be a sensitive trigger that could cause unnecessary discomfort, which I do think, should be avoided. If one engages in an experience that is designed to overwhelm and confuse your senses, it is perhaps unwise to wear the experience. However a person who has experience with psychosis may have a higher level of tolerance to the experience, as they have dealt with the more extreme intensity of an actual psychosis. One cannot always see on the outside, in which state a person is. By pressing ‘start’ people agree to a spoken disclaimer. I do reserve the right to refuse a person, who I personally feel, is unfit for responsible participation. I leave it to each organization to decide what policy they uphold. I advise to think of a contingency plan, and know who to contact if anything happens. As an artist and person I cannot take legal or financial responsibility for any unfortunate events that may occur from experiencing my art.

Are the experiences dangerous in any other way?

- People, who easily suffer from migraine and or epilepsy due to flickering lights, are advised not to participate in the experiences, or at least warn the guides about their condition in advance, as the experiences hold flickering’s of light.

- During the experience of THE WEARABLE there are moments when access to ones environment is obscured, making movements more difficult; it is unwise to continue walking, this in turn simulates behavior during psychosis. A level of responsibility is required from the participants guide to make sure one does not bump into walls or falls off any steps.

How real are the experiences?

The experiences of both THE LABYRINTH and THE WEARABLE have been designed to be analogue to psychotic experiences. The final results are based on literature research, my interpretations as an artist, guided by a great team of advisors.

Wheel chair accessibility

In the design of THE LABYRINTH, I have attempted to make it wheelchair accessible, but technically, to hold the structure of the roof, more poles were needed, leaving some area’s problematic, however, one may experience some of the elements in THE LABYRINTH to gain a good idea of the experience.


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