Adventures in Sightlessness (Tasmanian premier)
Two blind walking adventures in Launceston’s streets, alleys, malls and squares invite you to sense spaces in unfamiliar ways.
Quadrant Arcade adventure
This walking route threads through five different spaces that are hidden in the heart of Launceston. Before you begin, you’ll walk through them with a trained guide. You’ll then put on gloves and shin pads, close your eyes and begin finding your way along the route under your guide’s watchful eyes. During your walk you will feel your way along walls and ground by hand, foot and ear, choosing your own pace. As you move through quiet passageways and back-street alleys, through a mall and to a fountain, you can become immersed in your sensations and perceptions.
Civic Square adventure
Specially designed for kids, this walk uses a rope guide-rail to create a path around the civic square, beginning at the government buildings and winding through a mini-forest. You’ll travel one at a time along the line, with guides to watch out for you. Your challenge is to discover a world of listening and sensing that is different to the one you usually live in.
Adventures in Sightlessness is a series of site specific projects which offer enhanced listening experiences through walking with your eyes closed. The program in Launceston is focussed on uncovering different experiences of the city. It invites people to try some techniques of listening drawn from Soundwalking, acousmatics and John Cage, and of exploring environments, such as the Dérive or Thoreau’s saunter. Designing the work involves finding safe but interesting paths around an environment, and training guides in how to present and facilitate the work. It is important that people feel comfortable, so that they can relax into their body and environment, and stretch out their senses.
While walking, the guides are as silent as possible, so that you’re not distracted from your private aesthetic experience. For the artist the most vital part of the work is a shift into feeling one’s body and the environment. This meditative space can be a gift: a welcome escape from busyness of mind and body, and a reminder of the richness of our senses and the world.