Pete Eckert is a blind visual artist. He was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa, and lost his sight when he was 28.
“I am only a tourist in the sighted world. Women talk about a glass ceiling. Blind folks face a glass front door. We can look into the workplace but aren’t allowed to enter. I do something else. I slip photos under the door from the world of the blind to be viewed in the light of the sighted. I view my work during the event of taking the shot in my minds eye. I “see“ each shot very clearly, only I use sound, touch, and memory. I am more of a conceptual artist than a photographer. My influences come from my past memory of art and what I now find in the world at large. I now ask to touch sculptures in museums too. That’s another long story.
“I am trying to cut a new path as a blind visual artist. Sighted people don’t help me make the art. They do give me feedback before I do the final large prints… I want sighted people involved. It is a good bridge between the blind and sighted. I want to be included in the world and accepted.
“It is important to me that the sighted think about blindness. What I get out of taking photos is the event not the picture. I do the large prints to get sighted people thinking. Talking with people in galleries builds a bridge between my mind’s eye and their vision of my work. Occasionally people refuse to believe I am blind. I am a visual person. I just can’t see.”
I saw this today, for which I am thankful.