During our elementary school years, kaleidoscopes were the go-to trinket gift because they were both cheap and awesomely entertaining. They were stuffed in stockings, unwrapped at birthday parties, or brought to us by our favorite wacky aunt. But, we outgrew them around the same time we admitted that our "friend" Tommy wasn't real. Now, a new breed of kaleidoscopes, rooted in technology, is luring our adult selves back to their trippy imagery:
Websites: With so many people trapped at their desks in a state of melancholy during these sad, dark months of January
, it's no wonder that they're looking to play out their escapist fantasies on their desktops. Although dropping illicit drugs into your afternoon pick-me-up cup of coffee isn't really an option, staring at some psychedelic graphics is. One website, Baby Dinosaur Eyes
, created an interactive kaleidoscope page
where users can see prescription pills, crystals, wigs, strawberry shortcakes, pretzels, bananas, and cigarette butts spin around in cosmic
patterns. (WARNING: If the sight of a naked man wearing cowboy boots offends you or your boss' eyes, this might not be the escape for you.) We're not sure whose site came first, but Lacoste created a similar website
this past holiday season, using its products, leaping models, and the iconic crocodile. Until we can get a masseuse to come knead our backs while hovered over our keyboards, zoning out to these digital kaleidoscopes may remain our stress reduction method of choice.
Videos and Movies: From lo-fi
music videos to feature films, kaleidoscopic imagery has moving picture audiences going googly-eyed. Beautiful Swimmers' "O Yea" video
used special effects to transform found footage into a trippy buns of steel collage. Meanwhile, on the big screen, fans (and critics) have been comparing both Avatar
and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
to staring through the eye of a kaleidoscope, thanks to their trance-inducing visuals. And we're guessing the release of Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland
will extend the life of this trend. Falling down the rabbit hole in 3D must feel a bit like riding the interior of kaleidoscope, right?