“Feeling” the Light – “Seeing” Fireworks Displays Without Sight

Session Photo

Tent 1 | Seminar

February 17, 2023, 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM

Presented by: Collin van Uchelen

How can the artistry of fireworks be made accessible to people with sight-loss? This interactive seminar explores multiple options. Drawing on my own experience in the pyrotechnical arts while becoming blind, I will present techniques for translating the visual appearance of fireworks into non-visual forms. Participants will learn how words, sounds, and touch can translate light across senses to make the movement and color of fireworks accessible without needing eyesight. I will provide examples from my own exploration of pyro-musical display design. On a broader level, this seminar also invites participants to consider how the low vision/blind community can be meaningfully included in public events featuring fireworks displays.

Additional Session Information
Beginner Friendly

About Presenters

Collin van Uchelen

Collin van Uchelen, Ph.D., is a Community Psychologist, Conceptual Artist, and Pyrotechnician-in-training based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Collin’s work is informed by his own experience of sight-loss from a degenerative blinding eye disease. His work in the pyrotechnical arts explores techniques for translating the light of fireworks into non-visual forms, such as descriptive words, sounds, and textures. Currently, he is choreographing a pyro-musical display from his unique position as a blind pyrotechnical designer.

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