The Blind Photographer

Galerie Huit, Arles - July 2016

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I use my senses – hearing, touch, taste and smell – when taking pictures. When I touch the camera lens I create an imaginary line from the lens to the object I am taking a picture of; I create the picture in my mind, I feel it and construct it to communicate feelings to the normal-visual world - Aarón Ramos, The Blind Photographer, Redstone Press, 2016.

In collaboration with Redstone Press and inspired by their publication The Blind Photographer, Factum Foundation has funded the production of an exhibition of prints and tactile images that have been exhibited at the Galerie Huit in Arles between the 24th July - 23th September as part of photography festival Les Rencontres d'Arles.
A set of models have been made which transform these flat, digitally printed images into reliefs which will allow visually impaired visitors to touch and feel the photographs. New technologies such as CNC routing and 3D printing allow for high resolution output of tonal information, surface relief and other sensory characteristics. These have been utilised in conjunction with a range of traditional craft approaches, from traditional printing and embossing, to casting and glazing techniques.
Each image has been 'translated' in a completely unique way using a wide range of materials: shellacs, thick gelatine, plaster and foam.

The project challenges the primacy of sight and the tactile photographs are a manifestation of the rich information that can be gained through touch: temperature, surface texture and relief convey and engage us with the imagery. The models distill the meaning and content of the photographs and communicate these through rich multisensory characteristics rather than being rigid transcriptions.
The ten tactile images, made by Constanza Dessain, have been designed to appeal to both the visually impaired and the sighted.

Tactile work from Hilda Barrrera's photograph Untitled

 

 

Tactile work from Pedro Miranda's Him and Me, Mexico, 2009 Intaglio print on Somerset paper with shellac

Tactile work from Alicia Melendez's Untitled, Mexico, 2012-14 Intaglio print on Somerset paper with shellac and origami

Tactile work from Jose Luis Mercado's Untitled, Mexico, 2013 Acrylic relief

Tactile work from Pedro Miranda,' from the San Raymundo Jalpan through Reyna's eyes series, Mexico, 2001-2002. Digital print with carborundum and silicon

 

 

Constanza Dessain works with the gelatine woodburytype

 

 

 

 

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