Eskin4 (2018)

The Eskin4 the Visually Impaired workshop at ISEA was held at the Natural Science Research Center in Durban. The workshop was held every day from June 16-26th, 2018. The Public Performance was on June 26th, 2018 at 5.30PM

“Eskin 4 the visually impaired” is a trans-disciplinary platform that was created to enable visually impaired participants to become performers alongside their own ecological stories. It was a socially engaged project that amplified the voices of this specific local Durban community. Under the direction of Jill Scott and the Swiss based media-art team, a cross modal interactive platform for creative interpretation was developed. This platform was inspired by current research in neuroscience and wearable computing. This media art team constructed a script based on the participant’s stories and built a toolbox of three interactive technologies that ran in parallel on a mediated stage. They supported the visually impaired participants and their chorographers to be creative on this mediated stage and to construct visual interpretations for a sighted audience. The project started before the group all met in Durban with online interviews with the 7 Visually impaired participants. The answers to the online questions were then reconstructed into a 30-minute script with 5 ambient tracks and many sound files based on the lists of sounds from the participants. This script was used as a base for the 10-day workshop in Durban with the participants and the chorographers. Three interactive technologies were learnt and integrated into this workshop – Wearable armbands and Wi-Fi molecules trigged sounds from MaxMSP, while an infra-red Kinect camera tracked the movement on the stage and utilized the program Touch Designer to shift the projected images. This cumulated in an interactive dance performance for 9 of the participants. We all learnt a great deal, and it gave a chance for visually challenged people to engage in a world of culture that is so visually dominant. Thus in the final performance, the audience was introduced to a unique experimental theater event about urban ecology in the Durban context.

Media Team
Jill Scott (concept and direction), Marille Hahne (documentary, lighting), Andreas Schiffler (systems designer), Andrew Quinn (real time visual design and programming), Vanessa BarreraGiraldo (electronics and audio engineering) and Valerie Bugmann (sound research. Olav Lervik and Mandla Matsha (music)

Mason Lincoln Special School in Umlazi: Nomkhosi Gumede, Nompumelelo Zikhali, Nozipho Zungu, Balungile Thwala, Melusi Khumalo, Vusumuzi Khumalo and Sboniso Ngubane

Dancers & Choreographers
Thobile Maphanga and Lorin Sookool

Tyla Coppinger (ISEA), Bongeka Gumede (Mason Lincoln School)

Performance of Eskin4

The Making of Eskin4