After looking at the examples it became clear to me that the subject is what matters and I was asking myself what is it that I want to show? One wanted to show a passing rain shower in the city of Amsterdam, that was the subject matter and that is what was seen. Or the play of light, which was achieved through a moving sculpture which reflected the light.
Now my subject is a blind person and I want to somehow give an insight into his reality. Thinking about different ways of capturing visuals for the content I felt like I was hitting a wall. With the re-creation of the scenes or images he is describing I just don’t want to be too literal or cliché. So when Paul is describing for example how he experiences a sunset (most likely the fading temperature, change of air…) I don’t want to just show the sun going down at the horizon with the sky painted in colours.
Instead, why not change the visual concept? And reduce the piece to sound, voice and descriptions. This is much more like the reality of a blind person. And actually how I imagined the opening scene for my video (even still with visuals following).
I thought it would be nice, just like the beginning of Sans Soleil, to see a black screen only and listen to a description. This could be the setting/location in Paul’s house where the interview is happening. Just like the Inclusive Audio describing the paintings in the museum now a voice can describe the scene in detail, whilst the viewer only sees a black screen and is forced to imagine.
The concentration on the voice and what is said is much higher when one is not distracted by an image which becomes very clear in that opening scene of the movie.
I could extend this concept and incorporate it into the video. So there will be three main components:
– Paul talking about his experiences (narration, personal)
– Amplified natural sound capturing what he says/explains (underlying depth to the experience, second layer)
– Written additional description seen on the screen (visually descriptive, third layer)
Then at the end I might flash up lots of images of all the things that were mentioned very quickly, almost impossible to grasp and fade into black, back into the darkness finishing with a final quote from Paul.
Which leads me to another quote from John Hull from the book On Sight and Insight:
“Many of those who have written about blindness are at great pains to deny that the experience is one of darkness. I am not sure if this rejection of darkness conveys a faithful description of blindness. It is true enough that the visual experience (if one can call it that) which blind people have is not of inky blackness but of a sort of greyness, sometimes pinky-grey or blue-grey, perhaps somewhat uneven or speckled. Nevertheless, one is surely in darkness.”
So for one, it is good not to deny that the experience is one of darkness (also because I know from Paul that he can’t actually see ANYTHING) and what it means to be in darkness is that one constantly has to imagine things. If I force the viewer to imagine what is said of course they will use their visual imagination (because they are not blind) still, I’m reducing the information that is given by not showing an image and it is a much more personal experience and engaging the viewer more than with my previous idea. And maybe it is more “real” to incorporate that darkness into my project than showing images.