Vision Beyond Sight

 

 

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“What happens when artists operating outside the influence of visual culture, decide to make photographs?” asks Douglas McCulloh in Sight Unseen, his curatorial book on photography by blind and visually challenged photographers.

For people who cannot see, photography is a combination of the visceral and the tactile. It is all about the marriage between the inner eye and the inherent need to express.

Evgen Bavcar, featured in this story says,“The matter isn’t how a blind person makes photographs, but rather why he would want images.” Natasha Desai invites you to open your mind and make the transition from scepticism to understanding. 

Pete Eckert

“In my search for a faster way to produce art, I stumbled across photography.”

From the series Monique: Jewellery company Swarovksi commissioned me to photograph their work and present it at a jewellery summit in Vienna. I opened the summit as their first speaker. It was a unique project and I think of my doing this as the nexus between the sighted and blind worlds. Photograph/Pete Eckert

From the series Monique: Jewellery company Swarovksi commissioned me to photograph their work and present it at a jewellery summit in Vienna. I opened the summit as their first speaker. It was a unique project and I think of my doing this as the nexus between the sighted and blind worlds. Photograph/Pete Eckert

Photography is fast. I don’t get to see the results. But I know exactly what I have built as an image.
Since I cannot see the world around me, I do not chase after photographs. I ‘build’ photographs. I add light slowly and carefully, as I memorise. I ‘see’ with my mind’s eye. The world is changing very fast because of the internet and I wanted a voice to describe the world of the blind. And, I thought that the best way to achieve this was through the medium of photography. When it comes to this art, what really matters is perception. How do we really see, what do we take in, how do we manipulate information to produce a product—that is the thing to talk about. In my opinion, creativity is not bound by disability. Nor does the gift of sight assure success.

Titled Electroman: This image of mine was made into a United Nations postal stamp. It was an incredible honour. It affirmed that making visual art as a blind person makes a positive statement.

Titled Electroman: This image of mine was made into a United Nations postal stamp. It was an incredible honour. It affirmed that making visual art as a blind person makes a positive statement. Photograph/Pete Eckert

Pete Eckert

Pete Eckert

About Pete Eckert
Pete Eckert is based in Sacramento, USA. He has been trained in industrial design, sculpture, martial arts and has an MBA degree. He began losing his vision as a result of Retinitis Pigmentosa. Pete worked on construction sites and woodcuts before turning to photography. In 2010, he and Bruce Hall became the first blind photographers to shoot for Playboy magazine. You can find more of Pete’s work on www.peteeckert.com

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Tags: Alice Wingwall, Annie Hesse, Bhavesh Patel, Bruce Hall, Evgen Bavčar, Gerardo Nigenda, Kanchan Pamnani, Kurt Weston, Luis Perez, Mahesh Ummrania, Michael Richard, natasha desai, Pete Eckert, Pranav Lal, Rahul Shirsat, Raju Singh, Rosita McKenzie, Sonia Soberats, Terry Rosema, Vision Beyond Sight, Visually challenged photographers