See Yourself X: Human Futures Expanded is the second volume of Madeline Schwartzman’s timely series that looks at human perception and sensory apparatus. See Yourself Sensing: Redefining Human Perception, 2011, the first of the series, is a collection of 50 years of futuristic proposals for the body and the senses. See Yourself X focuses on the fundamental domain of our perception—the human head. The publication presents an array of conceptual and constructed ideas of how we might physically extend the head, the mind, the brain or our consciousness into space. What is the future of the human head? What will happen to our sensory apparatus in 50 years, when the mechanisms for how we communicate and sense our surroundings become obsolete, prompted by the advancement of sensors that will enable brain-to-brain communication? Everyone with a head should be interested in this book.
See Yourself X had inauspicious origins. In March 2012, while she was on the way to a talk for See Yourself Sensing, Schwartzman’s aeroplane crashed into a bus. As it landed in Detroit, the wing of the Delta MD-80 knocked over a shuttle bus at over 120 miles per hour. Luckily, no one was hurt. But it did spark an investigation: do pilots feel the width of their wings? If so, this would mean that the human head could effectively become 150 feet wide. This was the catalyst for See Yourself X: to look across art practices and contemporary culture, at all ways of extending the head into space, and to move headlong into the future.