Hideyuki Nakayama has created the penultimate Functional Art for our Paranoid Panopticonic Age: Thee Looking-Glass Doorknob. It’s a glass orb that allows you to see who is on the other side of the door without having to go through all the effort of actually turning the knob to open the door. You can watch their movements in your very own crystal ball.
We are immediately propelled back into the fantastical, prescient, mind of Lewis Carroll and Through the Looking-Glass:
‘How would you like to live in Looking-glass House, Kitty? I wonder if they’d give you milk in there? Perhaps Looking-glass milk isn’t good to drink—But oh, Kitty! now we come to the passage. You can just see a little PEEP of the passage in Looking-glass House, if you leave the door of our drawing-room wide open: and it’s very like our passage as far as you can see, only you know it may be quite different on beyond. Oh, Kitty! how nice it would be if we could only get through into Looking-glass House! I’m sure it’s got, oh! such beautiful things in it! Let’s pretend there’s a way of getting through into it, somehow, Kitty. Let’s pretend the glass has got all soft like gauze, so that we can get through. Why, it’s turning into a sort of mist now, I declare! It’ll be easy enough to get through—’ She was up on the chimney-piece while she said this, though she hardly knew how she had got there. And certainly the glass WAS beginning to melt away, just like a bright silvery mist.
I wonder if there will be future versions of the Looking-Glass Doorknob that will foretell events? Turn the doorknob thisaway and look into the room’s future; turn it thataway and peer back into the recorded history between the four walls.
Will we have a Snow Globe Looking-Glass Doorknob that will be safe for use in the home, but never on an airplane?
We now live in a ridiculous society where babies are potential terrorists and where non-dancers make it to a dancing finals — and so I guess it makes sense that we can now peer through a door darkly against each other — all the while hoping we never have to actually grasp that glassy knob and enter the other room to face the object of our Panopticonic desire.