This ongoing project is aimed at collecting a series of videos produced using Google Glass, to capture the ways that expertise in different disciplines affect how people observe the world around them. Google Glass is a smart device worn like a pair of glasses and is capable of taking short videos (5-10 min) that capture images and sounds from the wearer’s perspective and point of view. The concept of this project is to allow wearers who are experts in various disciplines to narrate their walks through an environment that would produce/provoke interesting commentary.

So, in walking with a variety of local experts from different disciplines, we are having them record what they view and observe through Google Glass, while taking a walk in one particular local space. As we develop this project, using the MSU College of Education’s Google Glass, we will take advantage of the technology’s video recording capability to create a series of videos through the perspective of “expert viewers”. This project takes its inspiration from On Looking: Eleven Walks with Expert Eyes, a book by Alexandra Horowitz. The book centers on the author’s attempts to broaden her spectrum of perception and experience by taking walks around Manhattan with “experts” in different disciplines: an artist, a geologist, etc. The central idea is that humans, in the course of developing expertise in a particular domain, develop ways of seeing and understanding their surroundings that are fundamentally different from non-experts. Horowitz writes:

Our brains are changed by experience — in a way directly related to the details of that experience. If we have enough experience doing an action, viewing a scene, or smelling an odor to become an “expert” in a field, then our brains are functionally — and visibly — different from non-experts.