Berlin, 2007

The Top Shot Helmet alters one’s spatial perception. Wearers see themselves from above and must guide their movements and orient themselves from this perspective. The device consists of a round helmet, above which floats a helium balloon attached to the helmet with strings. The balloon carries a small video camera operated by radio signal, which points downward with a wide-angle lens. The view captured by the camera is projected onto a pair of video glasses in the helmet. Wearers of the helmet can only see the image produced by these glasses and must use this to make their way through a given space. By moving the head, the person wearing the helmet can turn and tilt the balloon and camera. A handle on the helmet makes it possible to adjust the height of the balloon and thereby adjust one’s field of vision.