Have we reached peak screen? Artist Ivan Cash, who conducts experiments on human interaction as technology continues to infiltrate our everyday lives, is on a mission to get people looking at them less. His latest project, IRL Glasses, is a pair of specs that block out the content from many of those displays increasingly taking over the spaces around us.
Inspired by the 1988 cult film "They Live," which features a magical pair of glasses that blocks billboards and outdoor ads, the glasses block LED and LCD screens by flattening and reorienting polarized lenses (although they don't yet block OLED screens like phones and digital billboards). “We hope to one day create a version that blocks all screens in the future--that is our north star,” says Cash.
“The world has seen an explosion of screens all vying for our attention, making it harder to have uninterrupted experiences and human connections,” the Kickstarter profile reads. “IRL Glasses put you in the driver’s seat to control when and how you engage with screens.”
Cash launched a crowdfunding scheme on Kickstarter on October 1, with the minimum goal of $25,000. With eight days to go, the project has already reached five times that, with more than $125,000 in pledges.
The glasses will sell at $39 a pair for the first 100 orders and $49 thereafter. A limited edition artist collaboration featuring visual artists including Shantel Martin, Mike Perry, Jessica Hische, Leta Sobierajski and Zebu will run for $499 per pair.
The glasses are also the first in a series of "IRL" branded products planned by Cash, all with the mission of helping people to control technology, rather than have it control them.
Cash is a former Wieden & Kennedy art director and the founder of Cash Studios. His previous experiments include "Snail Mail my Email," which allowed people to turn send their emails as real letters sent in the post, and another in which he asked people to tell him the story behind the last photo they shot on their phones.