Top Shot Helmet, Kiasma – Finish National Gallery, Helsinki, 2006
Top Shot Helmet is an apparatus which alters one’s spatial perception. Wearers see themselves from above and must guide their movements to 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.