A unique Art Project that invited the general public, including the blind and visually impaired, to experience, each in his way, the artwork of various Israeli artists.
Our five senses allow us to collect information from our surrounding environment; this data, is then analyzed and organized, reconstructed into coherent mental representations. Because each brain has specific recipes: anatomy, environment, prejudices, biases, conditioning, the process of “reconstruction” is very individual.
If we assume that the body, a basket of tools that allows us to perceive the world, is different from person to person, then the perception would always be subjective. However, we must trust that the subjective perception is the only way that gives us access to the object as it is. On the other hand, we believe that the perception of the others is not too far away from ours, because if not, how could we dialogue.
In "Sense the Art" we seek to broaden the experience of art beyond the visual and invite the public to use other senses to receive and decode the art works displayed at the exhibitions. This is an opportunity to expand the experience options in order to broaden and refine the way we experience specifically art and the world in general.
It is also, an invitation to expand the language that allows dialogue as well as the audience with whom the dialogue is being conducted. To explore the topic of communication, in the specific situation of removing one of our senses (vision).
The aim is to open the field of plastic arts for all audiences, including the blind and visually impaired public.
For the artist: how does she/he adjust her/his work to such public?
And for visitors: How does perception and communication change if one of our sensorial instruments is altered?
Does this experience allow us to become conscious of the fact that there is to the world much more than what we actually see, and therefore, that we are ALL limited in the perception of our surroundings?
This unique project was undertaken in collaboration with the Central Library for the Blind, Visually Impaired and Handicapped, that took over the vital role of transferring the information and messages regarding the exhibition into Braille print and audio guides, in cooperation with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services and Services for the Blind in Israel.
The Project included two art exhibitions:
"Touch" - Herzlyia Art Gallery,
"Beam of Light" - The Negev Artist's House.
The nature of the exhibitions and the integration of the blind audience required special preparations: physical accessibility – placing of the works in a secure and accessible way and accessibility of contents - integration of the audio system and Braille signage for the transfer of information.
"Touch", a group exhibition at the Herzliya Municipal Art Gallery and Artist's House
"Touch". Herzlya Art Gallery, Nov. 2015 - Youtube movie
"Beam of Light", The Negev Artists' House, Beer Sheva To see with the hands, A visit held by members of the Center for Blind to the exhibition "Beam of Light" at the Negev Artists' House in Beer Sheva.
Exhibition for the Blind, "Beam of light", The Negev Artists' House, Beer Sheva - Youtube movie
Conference "Sense the Art": Lectures on Sensory Transduction, Flexible Mind and Spacial Perception without Vision. It took place in Beit Hatfutsot Museum - The Diaspora Museum, Tel Aviv University. With the participation of:
Shani Shapira, brain researcher from the laboratory of Prof. Amir Amedi - The Hebrew University of Jerusalem,
The architect Noam Glikfeld, , lecturer at the Technion,
Mrs Keren Yaffe, Director of Tel Aviv Multi Service Center for the Blind (Marshal)
and Veronica Ellran, promotor and founder of the project "Sense the Art”
A Digital Art Workshop for blind and visually impaired children, together with sighted children.
The Laboratory for Digital Art, "FablabIl" in Holon, along with the Interior Design Department – college of management and the Israeli Art Lab Holon, and the instructors of “Migdal Or” (a rehabilitation center for the blind and visually impaired), developed a special program for a digital art workshop combining blind and sighted children together.
The workshop included 3 sessions one took place in the Multi-Service Center for the Blind in Tel Aviv, and two took place in FabLabil - Holon laboratory.
"The right to create and consume culture is a fundamental right for all of us" (Dr. Anton Biederman).
Nevertheless, our country has audiences that these rights are regularly denied to them: the blind and visually impaired public. With this project we hope to contribute to changing and improving the equality in society.