Call for proposals – Finalists

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The finalists that will join the line-up will be announced on January 22nd.

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Proposal title

Let the Blind Lead: Hacking Visual Culture

Daniel Sabio

Art Director/VR Musician



Short description

This talk (with appreciated interruption) questions the dominance of visual culture in society, and poses solutions for disrupting and coalescing with it, from the perspective of an artist who has been co-creating a VR experience with blind hackers and creatives. How can we utilize audio-first solutions for increased communication via social networks? How can we future-proof immersive media formats (XR) to be inclusive and accessible? How can fiction be used as a meta-force of change to our material futures?

The session poses these questions, and is open to engaged discussion and proposed solutions for shaping the future landscapes of our collective futures with important and unheard voices.

Extended description

For the past 6 months, a secret project has been brewing... Puerto Rican artist The Glad Scientist has been working closely with blind creators to develop a sound and tactile focused VR experience called Infinite Observer, designed specifically for the blind.

In early research and visits with collaborators, something significant surfaced: the blind are literally left out from the design of most of the digital world (and inherently networked societies) as we know it.  

As optimists, the collaborators shifted blame from any person or corporation to ignorance and a lack of exposure to blind communities. How can we collectively solve this and create new networks that are inclusive to the 39 million blind citizens of the world?

During continued exchange of knowledge and practices (from multi-room dark installations to top-rated spatial audio VR experiences), it was revealed that there have been zero attempts at a design methodology for the blind in all major virtual reality development platforms. Even in talks with heads of design at the world's most well-funded VR company (*cough cough*) only a passing note of surprise was shown. How can we as a community of digital creators form these standards and future-proof accessibility for marginalized groups?

Stories will be shared, and an emphasis on these questions and imaginative prototyping will test the collective creative powers of the IAM community.

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March 21-23, 2019

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