Extraordinary partnership makes artwork accessible

Oyez! Oyez!!

(see the full release in the Audio Description section of this site)

The Visual Arts Program of this year’s Luminato Festival, June 8th –17th, 2012, includes three extraordinary installations equipped with recorded audio descriptions created by Theatre Local and Picasso PRO for blind and low vision patrons.

Audio description, the art of talking pictorially, acts as a verbal lens making exhibits, theatre, film and other art events more accessible to patrons who are blind or partially sighted. Patrons use audio devices to hear trained describers talk about visual aspects that are vital to experiencing the works in their totality.

The Encampment by artists Thom Sokoloski and Jenny-Anne McCowanJune 8th -24th, at Fort York National Historic Site and co-commissioned with the City of Toronto, is a large scale installation comprised of 200 A-frame tents pitched on the grounds of Fort York. Conceived as a temporal village, each tent will contain an installation by one of 100 creative collaborators to represent an intimate aspect of the War of 1812’s civilian history. In this way the site becomes a metaphorical archeological dig, unearthing long-buried shards of human experience. The audio description will provide a description of the site’s pathways and features, plus a small sampling of tent installations.

Revered street artist Dan Bergeron explores themes of location, transformation, public space and its reclamation by those whom it excludes and ignores. ///RE-PLY\\\, June 8th -17th, is the artist’s latest response to these issues through a series of temporary site-specific sculptural installations situated along Parliament Street between St. Jamestown (Wellesley) and Regent Park (Dundas).  Both abstract and concrete, the pieces will reference the overabundance of condo development throughout the city with a sly and playful eye.

S/N the third installation, located at Toronto Pearson Airport’s Terminal One, June 8-30th and created by Belgian artists LAb[au], is constructed from a large assortment of discarded technology and salvaged split-flaps; components from information displays that pre-date LED monitors in public spaces like airports and train stations. Arranged in a circular grid that allows visitors to stand in the centre, the flaps randomly rotate until the system identifies words which create auto-poetic sequences, inviting viewers to interpret their meaning.

Recorded descriptions will be available through luminato.com on the Accessibility page under Visitor Info and Luminato’s mobile app on June 4. Directions to the exhibit sites and background on the works can be found on luminato.com.

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