Dorian Gray’s Peloton and More: The HYPERREEL Gift Guide

holograms, AI razors, and other holiday gift ideas

A home workout hall of mirrors, an AI electric toothbrush…In lieu of our typical format, and in celebration of what is surely the most virtual (might we say, hyperreal?;) holiday season yet, this week we bring you a personally curated gift guide of items that—perhaps unfortunately—do actually exist and are available now for your last-minute holiday shopping.


1. An Anti-Facial Recognition Women’s V-Neck

Are you and your loved ones worried about mass biometric surveillance this holiday season? Us too. Thankfully, a speculative designer in Berlin created a fabric pattern that he says can thwart facial recognition tech, and an eBay vendor in Georgia has ripped it off to sell on fitted T-shirts. The surveillance state is done for.

2. The Mirror

The Mirror is the $1,500 home gym essential you need if you’re tired of watching workout videos without being able to see your own reflection. Throw out your antiquated, very obviously material Peloton and ring in the new year with a fitness machine that is simply a void staring back at you. With a minimalist design (it’s a mirror) and a sleek look (again, this is a $1,500 mirror), this revolutionary product not only refracts light but streams videos and tracks your data. Possible side effects include the Mirror version of you slowly deteriorating to reveal the fallen ugliness of your soul—but no worries, you will be extremely hot!

3. Artificial Intelligence Hair Trimmer

This handheld razor can give the perfect cut — powered by AI technology. (Disclaimer: “AI” appears to refer only to the razor’s ability to turn itself on when it comes into contact with hair.) Consider pairing with this $200 artificial intelligence toothbrush.

4. MUSE: The Brain-Sensing Meditation Headband

Sometimes after a long day of staring at a big screen and scrolling through a smaller screen, all you want to do is de-stress by hooking yourself up to a Bluetooth-connected metal headband (you must also put on headphones). Leave it to MUSE to remind you of a fact too often overlooked in ancient Buddhist scripture: Meditation is actually best with maximal technological invasiveness. If you’re not pumping EEG currents into your brain and letting an app crunch your every breath into a bunch of neon graphs while you meditate, what the hell are you doing?

5. “Contactless Cyber Fashion”

Cyber clothing is perfect for both your friend with a cool Instagram feed and your coworker who appears nude on company Zoom calls. This is a gift for those who hate the hassle of putting on physical clothes, but love the special feeling they get from buying them. All you have to do is roll out of bed and click add to cart on whatever Jeff Koons-style dress or holographic jacket you desire. Best to hurry and buy now though, because each item, despite only existing in cyberspace, is limited to 100 copies. (Maybe email them a Walter Benjamin pdf after checkout.)

6. The Image of Candle Flames

Are your candle flames not looking their best in photos? This Etsy shop offers ten (10) different flame images in just one affordable package, to help you doctor your celebratory moments with precision.

7. A Taste-Enhancing Spoon

This spoon shocks your tastebuds with electric currents. The result? “A new level of tongue sensory that no one has ever experienced,” according to its crowdfunding page. It’s a perfect gift for anyone who has fallen prey to the tentacular U.S. dieting industry and now subsists off of tasteless meal replacement-liquid and the like: SpoonTEK is “great for low-cal foods,” the company insists. It’s a utensil sure to put seasoning right out of style!

8. A Hologram of a Deceased Family Member

Great news! You can now buy a hologram of a person who no longer exists! Verified hologram recipient Kim Kardashian promises “a memory that will last a lifetime.” Did she mean the memory of her father, or the memory of a digital rendering reading a script by Kanye West? Who’s to say.

—Lizz & Katya


what we’re looking at

My Mommies and Me in Jewish Currents: A meditation on pious, blue-eyed, Lizard Overlord-fearing Instagram mommies that gets both funnier and more disturbing as you read. 

How Leonora Carrington Feminized Surrealism in The New Yorker: Merve Emre on the disruptive, wild weirdness of the British-Mexican surrealist. 

What is a Letter? In Times Literary Supplement: Hannah Williams on emails, texts, WhatsApps, digital communication, and Kafka. 

The Organic Myth in Real Life Mag: Elinor Carmi on the unnatural.

Accumulation and Appreciation in Affidavit: A thoughtful examination of the social and artistic meaning of collecting.