This workshop, designed by Antony Hall, is based on the Ganzfeld experiment. Early explorations of subjective visual experience involved looking into nothingness, staring at the sky for prolonged periods, and prodding the eyeball they noted strange visual phenomena and ‘objects’ seemed to occur within the eye itself, and were ‘perceived’ without direct visual perception. Polar explorers have also reported hallucinations and altered mind states when travelling through featureless white landscapes. In the 1930s Gestalt psychologists spent extended periods of time staring at walls and created featureless filed of light and observed vivid hallucinations. They called this the ‘Ganzfeld’ [total or whole field] effect. The ganzfeld technique is now a widely used experimental model known to induce an altered state of consciousness similar to that of a hypnagogic, or dream-like state.
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