Recordings by Students with Visual Impairment // Compilation and Listening Event

Artwork by Ethan W., student at Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

Artwork by Ethan W., student at Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

On Saturday, May 11, the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, with the support of Phonography Austin, will present a selection of student-made field recordings in the Fine Arts Building at the school’s campus on West 45th Street in Austin.

The listening exhibit, which is open to the public and part of TSBVI’s West Austin Studio Tour showcase, coincides with the online release of a compilation of the students’ recordings, co-curated and co-produced by Phonography Austin and TSBVI staff.

Audio recording plays a significant role in the lives of individuals with visual impairment, often serving as their analogue to photography, where snapshots of sound can serve as aural memories. Visual impairment manifests across a spectrum, and students at TSBVI have varying levels of vision loss, including a range of deaf-blindness. In addition to recording audio to capture memories or for pure enjoyment, TSBVI students interpret sound to situate themselves in physical space or to recognize familiar voices. For students on the deaf-blind spectrum, sound takes on a more tactile nature, where exploring sounds is about feeling its vibrations with the body.

More than a dozen TSBVI students contributed to the compilation, which collects together a diversity of audio elements and events that represent the students’ everyday lives. The project not only conveys the day-to-day sonic culture in which the students are immersed but also demonstrates self-determination, revealing part of their decision-making process for participation in and engagement with their surroundings through their choices of sounds. From recordings of Preston P.’s tactile exploration of the vibrations of an accordion and foot massager to the scratching of Lukas M.’s cane during music lessons, this project seeks to expand our notions of who listens and how we listen.

 

LISTENING EVENT

Date: Saturday, May 11, 2019

Time: 11 a.m.–6 p.m.

Location: Fine Arts Building 602 on TSBVI campus. Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, 1100 W. 45th St., Austin, TX 78756

 

COMPILATION RELEASE

Date: Saturday, May 11, 2019

Download link: phonographyaustin.bandcamp.com