Blindsight, Boston Sculptors Gallery, 2015

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This immersive, four-channel sculptural video and sound installation was made in collaboration with moving image artist, Sarah Bliss.
Boston Sculptors Gallery, June 10 – July 19, 2015
486 Harrison Avenue, Boston, MA 02118
www.bostonsculptors.com
www.sarahblissart.com

Blindsight: the installation
Wild, raw, mysterious and sensual, Blindsight revels in the deep, unconscious dimensions of our lives. Reimagining the Daedalus-Icarus myth, it looks fearlessly at time and the aging body; eros; the embodied nature of perception; and the mutability of matter. Blindsight’s open, maze-like structure, inspired by Daedalus’ labyrinth, is made of translucent and reflective materials that multiply contexts and viewpoints and receive multiple video projections. Visitors journey through a liminal underworld that unfolds as ritual or dream-time: simultaneous, multiple and fragmented. They are swept into the very center of a highly charged drama in which the cast of nine enacts the sensual and sacred dance between spirit and the material form in which it is bound. Blindsight explores mythic consciousness, inner experience and dream realities in the depths of the underworld.

Blindsight: a review
“A dreamlike Blindsight
Visiting sculptor Rosalyn Driscoll and filmmaker Sarah Bliss’s ambitious, lyrical installation, Blindsight, at Boston Sculptors Gallery is like walking into a dream. Bliss’s four-channel video plays over fabric, paper, and rawhide screens that Driscoll has installed throughout a darkened room. Images beam onto and through them; they wrinkle and smear along with the rawhide.
Bliss’s images of rushing rain and ice on branches frame the central narrative, an unspoken, choreographed exchange among a handful of actors, often with water pouring down on them. Moody and beautiful, their movements drift into nearly erotic encounters and into conflict; often, they feel akin to ritual. Indeed, Driscoll’s environment, dark with filmic windows of light, feels like a sacred space, a labyrinth through which we yet can see.”
Review by Cate McQuaid in the Boston Globe, June 30, 2015

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The term “blindsight” refers to the condition of people who are injured in their visual cortex but still able to respond to visual stimuli they are not conscious of seeing—thus becoming a metaphor for what we know unconsciously, and suggesting non-visual modes of perception: touch, hearing, smell, somatic sensing, and spatial awareness. Bodily responses are activated by the intense, intimate interactions of the filmic characters, as well as by haptic film techniques, sensuous screening materials, and the complex spatiality of the installation. Projections appear and disappear throughout the gallery, echoing the way neuronal pathways light up different regions of the brain. The installation frames cognition and experience as embedded, enactive, extended and embodied.

Blindsight detail

The sound for Blindsight, stultifera navis (The Ship of Fools), is a composition by Scottish sound artist James Wyness, made in Scottish ponds, Iberian geophonies, mountaintop chapels and transmission masts, with ambience and details of metal factory machine tools, hand bells, and metal drinking vessels. Wyness explores the interpenetration of human and natural environments, as does Blindsight.

The Massachusetts Cultural Council asked us to write a post describing our process for their ArtSake blog, which can be read here: http://artsake.massculturalcouncil.org/blog/artsake/index.php/2015/07/02/three-stages-sarah-bliss-and-rosalyn-driscoll/

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