For my MFA, I explored local Okanagan mountains and expressed them in non-visual media. I wanted someone who is non-sighted to experience what those of us who live in BC and experience refracted light take for granted. And I wanted those of us who are sighted to open up our understanding of the environment in a new sensory way.
I organized a participatory public art project in downtown Kelowna for both sighted and blind participants. I worked with local musician and Fine Art student, Tim Smith to create an aesthetically interesting interpretation of elevation data of four local mountains. Visitors to the project walked a loop within Waterfront Park, in Kelowna and listened to the sound via a mobile phone application. Programmer/artist, David Kadish, created the program for this project using the augmented reality platform Layar.
The corresponding gallery exhibition at the nearby Alternator Centre consisted of documents of interviews of both sighted and blind people discussing mountains. I am also carved models of some of the local mountains from plywood so that participants could touch and look at the mountains in a different scale. The gallery, located in Kelowna’s Rotary Centre for the Arts, served as a base for the public to access the project (borrow smart phones, find out information, etc). There was a public celebration of the project opening and the project had over 300 visitors during the week.
Funding gratefully received from the Eco Art Incubator