The Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg is presenting Sight Unseen: International Photography by Blind Artists through September 18. Commemorating the 10th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, this exhibition considers how the blind can see the world in ways other than the traditional sense of sight.
The artists come from various places around the world, have differing degrees vision loss, and use disparate photographic processes. You can read more about the artists’ backgrounds and approaches here.
The exhibition is the first museum exhibition to feature interactive stations with 3D, tactile technology, developed by 3DPhotoWorks in New York, to allow the blind to “see” and experience art. John Olson, the co-founder of 3DPhotoWorks and a former LIFE magazine photographer, has converted some of the museum’s photographs to 3D images. This innovative technology relies on the brain’s neuroplasticity in using tactile information to form mental images. The prints also contain touch-activated sensors that provide audio information.
The museum is dedicated to offering a fully accessible and inclusive experience for all visitors. There are cane stops and markers denoting Universal Access Points, raised numbering and braille, iBeacons and an app, and text-to-speech readers. Exhibition-related programming includes lectures, performances and events on disability rights.